I’m getting a few hours of alone time today, and for the first time in my life it isn’t terrifying.
Don’t get me wrong…I’ve always preferred to be alone. Growing up, I had a rather large number of friends and our neighborhood gang met every single day, without fail, usually on skateboards. When we weren’t skating (or biking, or walking), we were usually trespassing on some landowner’s property…particularly the landowner that owned the long dead drive-in movie theater. We would usually climb to the top of the building that used to house the projection equipment, and there we would sit for hours, doing all the things we were told we shouldn’t do. You know…like smoke cigarettes, drink beer we’d stolen from my uncle and hide when the man that owned the property came out to check on his cows. Yeah, it was glorious.
When I wasn’t doing that, I was alone. I was usually in my room and I was almost always listening to music and/or making music. My dad was great about letting me borrow a guitar or two now and then, and my mom was wonderful about letting me play it. This was back before I took an insane interest in the acoustic guitar, when my only idea of playing well was playing as loud as my amp would allow, and I can never thank her (or my father enough) for allowing me the freedom to be the musician I wanted to be.
At any rate, those days weren’t lonely but at times they certainly felt that way. I didn’t have many friends that shared the same interest in being alone so I guess they couldn’t understand why sometimes I had to just shut the door and keep the rest of the world out. They didn’t get that I just didn’t feel like I was a part of them, or that they were a part of me, or that I was somehow a part of the greater human scene.
These days, however, simply are lonely. Without my children here, and without my guitar, and without any of the things I used to rely on to keep me from being lonely, I find myself exceptionally lonely even when I’m not actually alone. This isn’t me complaining, though it may seem that way. This is me thanking God for the opportunity to learn how to be alone without all the things I thought I needed.
It gives me the chance to rely on Him to make me feel better. It doesn’t change the fact that I really want to hug my children, and it certainly doesn’t take away the itch that begins in the center of my palms when I think about a guitar (any guitar, it doesn’t even have to be mine, but at this point it is particularly this amazing 1939 Gibson acoustic I found at Guitar Center for the reasonable price of only $3900…but whatever), but knowing that I don’t have to feel lonely is something. Knowing that, regardless of what anyone else believes, I do honestly believe I’m never alone. Take that as proof of my insanity if you’d like, because you really won’t hurt my feelings.
Learning to trust Him has been the hardest part of my entire life. I can honestly say that I’m not very good at it. But, I’m trying. That has to count for something.
I guess the point of this whole post is to remind myself, and anyone else that needs it, that no matter how lonely you feel, there is probably a reason. It’s also to ask you…is being alone really such a bad thing? It has taken me nearly three decades to figure out that being alone is kind of a blessing. It’s my chance to be exactly who I am and not have to worry what the rest of the world thinks about it. Not that I care so very much what people think of me. I never have, and I probably never will, care much for the opinions others have of me, and I think that’s mostly because I know what He thinks of me.
So, I’ll take this slow day, all alone, and use it to thank Him. I’ll use it to thank Him for waking me up another day, giving me the strength to crawl from the bed, and blessing me with the peace that I didn’t have yesterday because my own fears and insecurities began to creep in again. I’ll take this day and make it something worth living.