The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by Scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable Than my own meandering Experience…
I am no stranger to lonesomeness. for past one and a half year I have been ALONE for most of the time .Eversince my flat mate Jitu got busy with his film making gig . I am pretty much living by myself .I was in a relationship but unfortunately it fell apart few months ago .This solitary existence played a catalytic role in withdrawl symptoms . Things were pretty bad at one point of time . Its not that I don't have friends. I have and they are dependable but calling someone over to your flat for a drink or some philosophical babbling doesn't justify the logistical difficulty (and cost) . Ergo I stay in my cocoon . waiting for the time when I will become a " butterfly".
I was forced to deal with this "urban loner ", "High Tech Low life " syndrome.Charles Darwin told us that In the process of evolution , humans ( mammals to be more generic ) develop some sort of equilibrium with their surrounding .This is how life flourish .While all the biological and ecological adaptations are gradual, natural and somewhat instinctive , same can't be stated for psychological adaptation.They are anything but INSTINCTIVE .Things are not in Black and white there. When things are inside your head you don't need to change the world you need to change your perspective . Easier said than done . Dealing with lonesomeness is one such thing.
My time as a loner has tought me that Lonlinesss is not a state of world its a state of mind .with that relevation I fought back and I am still fighting back and its fucking fun fighting it .This post is an attempt to share some of the tactics which has worked for me .I am writing them here so that you don't have to learn them hard way .so here goes .
Every Lonliness is a Pinnacle
#1 Stop Mulling Over Your "Story" and Start writing it :
So Whats your story so far ? Let me gues .You are someone in his /her late twenties , staying away from parents for past 4-5 years , working with a leading software company , making a decent salary every month, You like your work but you also know that it's not world changing , you had a girl friend /boy friend but things didn't worked out , most of your friends have "other plans" everytime you call. You have some ideas for a starting a business /wrting a book / starting a project but things are stagnated . There is an inexplicable inertia all around you .Your parents are after your life to convince you to get married but you are waiting for your Lady Love(or Mr. Right ) . Usually you put up a brave front but one sublime day When you get frustrated you ask "Why Its happening to Me ?" . Well....there is nothing unique about you and ....It's not "happening" to You Damn it, you are doing it to yourself .
Mulling over your story is the worst thing you can do while facing the challenge of lonesomeness . You can think about your college days, that trip to goa with friends, your frust crush, first kiss [if any]
,first heart break , first job and First ["insert your mental cobweb here"] . This won't help. You can think about this till Cow comes home and you will still be miserable. Trust me I am speaking from experience .
#2 Don't think you are the only one :
One of the most common misconception harbored by any loner is that He is the only one in world going through it . That all cosmic forces are conspiring against him . Its not like this dude (or babe) . I have some good news for you .World is full of self proclaimed victims like you (one of the ex vetran victim is writing this blog ) . What ? You want to know where they are ? Well I can tell you some of them are sitting in front of a computer screen right now and reading this article, like you . Rest of them log in regularly at Facebook/orkut/my space . Patient in advance stage of disease becomes bloggers and you can find teminally ill folks at slashdot .
I was reading google trend report sometime back and learned that most of the time highest traffice laod on sites like Facebook, Orkut,Match.com ,Yahoo Chat is in late evening hours .and its consistent across Geography . Be it india , Korea , brazil or USA there are are people who don't have anyone to talk in evening . Take a look at this chart and see how consistently people are looking for the solution for loneliness .
So how does this knowledge can help you today evening when you will be alone again ? Well First off it will have a sort of placebo effect ..you may find an irrational (and may be false) comfort of proximity,connection and numbers . second you can rule out the "Fate-is-conspiring -against-me" theory ,third if like me you are thinking that Changing City-Country-Job will solve your problem than you can throw those hope away too .
Trust me, once you clear this crap out from your head problem will look very managable .
#3 Stop Comparing
When We are lonely We start comparing our self to people around us. We compare and we compare stupidly some common examples are
Situation( i ) : You see this always smiling guy with iPhone who flaunts it to evey girl in office and they swoon looking at the shiny toy . You look the "stardom" of guy and think "Man ! Whats the big deal. Don't they know that iPhone Firmware had this issue and it don't even let you access file system and there is no fucking Cut-Copy-Paste in that . My Nokia N95 is far better than it . Why don't they see Me and My N95" .
Therotically you are right. May god give more Power to you "theoretically" . But in the mean time that "jerk" will keep on getting one date after another .
Situation (ii) : You go to neighbourhood shopping mall .you see a newly wed couple where lady is holding (clinging) arm of her "Hubby" while navigating her way through the crowd . you think "Man ! How cute. such a gesture in today's time ?What a Lucky Dog "
Example (iii) :Your married friend seems to be having a perfect life He just got a new job and a second car .
Example (IV): Someone less competent got a promotion ,while you suffer a 10% payrise .
I can go on and on ...List is endless .
To sum up It appears to you that whole world is living in the state of blissful joy .Like they are celbrating the second coming of christ . On the other hand in your life. its like an eternal month "ramzan" and you are thumping your chest like rudaali . You know something ! you are stupidly selective in your observation . I was like you only before I wised up.
Solution (i) : Chances are that this "always smiling jerk " is not that popular as it seem . Do as I say. Talk to one of those girls ..talk to them for 5 min ..Mention his name once and than wait, beat around the bush. I bet you will see the dirt .No,You will see a Cloud of dirt . A Massive explosion of dirt . In that explosion of dirt you will see the "eternal truth" which has always elduded the masculine of human species . " If you think that you are popular with More than one girl chances are that you are popular with none of them ".
So next time you see such "hot shot" .Just close your eyes imaging a huge explosion of dirt bomb . you will feel better .
Do you know that most of the time when newly wed women do that "Cling-the-arm-in-public" stunt is when
- A more Hot single chick is passing by . it's women's code of saying " Stay Away Bitch , He is My Catch"
- They are wearing a sandal with pencil heel .their clinging to hubby's arm is not a gesture of emotional support or something, its a gesture of support ; litreally .
This is not to say that this gesture doesen't mean anything . It do but when such actions are driven by genuine love, admiration and dependebility then it will be very pure . The vibes won't make you feel bad about yourself . Its hard to explain the diffrence . you will know it when you will see it . I have seen both and from compelte strangers . there is a hell lot of diffrence .
Same goes for rest of the examples also . you are seeing wordl filtered through the lense of your biases . there is always another dimension . Often times when chips are down we don't bother to look for alternate explanation of events . We run with first thing that comes to our mind . sadly its in those un explored dimenstion that truth reside .Explore them ..look for alternate explanation .Truth shall set you free from truma of comparision.
# 4 Join A Gym - Excercise is just one part of it
For years I resisted any suggestion of joining gym and doing workout . Mere thought of getting out of bed and doing those funny things to yourself was a horror. Result ? I had a body which was rapidly turning in to a SCUD ( solid Cylinder of Uniform Diameter) and a stamina which was not worth mentioning . not a good thing for someone with the ambition of dating Sania Mirza . So Sometime back i joined a gym in my office building . It was very hard initially I felt pain in those part of my body which i didn't even know I had . Talk of self awareness !
But one unintended influence of going to gym was the people I meet there . I meet a middle age housewife working in a software company .Mother of a 4 year old kid . She told me that She do gym not because she aspire to be a slim "in shape" chick but becuase it keeps her mind fresh and clear the stress . One shower after an hour of workout and She feel stress free . In the absense of regular excercising she becomes edgy and restless . Her husband is so happy from the change that he makes tea for her in morning so that she can do gym.
I meet a group of 4 guys of my age.Listening to their conversation in shower room is like daily dose of laughter challenge . they told me that they come an hour early to office so that they can have fun in gym . otherwise its boring life in office .
what you see here ? these are people who don't let things happen to them .when they see some thing wrong with their life they take action to fix it . scope of their action might be limited to their life only but still we can learn from them . They don't drift through life . this is the type of people you need to interact with when you are alone . so that you don't resging your self to fate . BTW I've started wearing my body hugging T shirt again and it don't feel that odd . : )
# 5 Call your parents more often :
Your parents can sense your trouble from miles away . even on phone . they can tell something is wrong . so you think you can save them from trouble by avoiding to call them . they will still sense it . so best bet is be regular ..more regular in calling them and based on your comfort level discuss what you are going through. they are one of those very few people in world who won't judge you no matter what . so be little more open to them . I don't know why it helps but it helps . Of Course their is a sideeffect that you will have to field the Questions about getting married but I believe you can handel it .
#6 Go Ahead Talk to "that" Girl /Boy
This is a bit risky but worth trying . You don't really know this person. you see them once in a while ..around you but have no direct communication link . there is something about them there personality , mannerism , their eyes ,their look , their aura or something inexplicable . complicated protocol of social formality dictates that you shouldn't venture to talk to them . unless you mask it under some stupid "friend" stuff. I strongly advice that if you think that talking to this person will be helpful than go ahead do it . Most people respect your honestly If your intentions are clear . its risky because
A) Most of the time this occurs with the person of opposite sex so often times we confuse it with Crush or something .As I will explain in next point that its anything but crush .
B) You can get rejected or humilated if the person whom you talked to turns out to be shallow or uncommunicative .
If you get humiliated or something than please be easy on your self and other person . see there are so many folks around us who play the victim card to get sympathy . it may be the case that person you are approching has been tricked before on such things . HE/She has good reason to avoid you . Eveyone has got their own history and their own cross to carry .
But my Life's experience tell me that people are more nice than society allow them to be . Since each one of us has gone through this phase at one time or another so most of the time they try to be help.Its a risk nevertheless but a risk worth taking . I talked to someone about my problem once .Someone whom I didn't knew much . I was lucky than She didn't turned out to be a jerk . Did it helped ? You bet .
#7 Remember Relatioship is not a cure of Lonesomeness
You are going through this period of extended solitude and someone who is your well wisher suggest that "why don't you start seeing someone ?" .Its more likely if you are suffering a breakup . suddenly you will see a whole army of friends trying to set you up with another friend of theirs (who in all pobability is also suffering from same problem) .you are so distressed that a slightest of comfort will seems like a Manna in dessert. you will fall for it . and agree to meet . you will tell yourself ..after all its just a meeting .
This is a Trap , turn back and RUN ..Run for your fucking life or else few months down the line you will wreck two more lives . one of those will be yours . This is one point where I am not speaking from my own experience . But I have seen it happening from sideline. I have seen it way too many times that i think its true . Why this happen ? because the foundation of that realtionship was pain . it was never meant to last . Its like dating your dentist . you can only have 32 trips on the pretext of your "Problem" . if you want the relationship to last beyond that than it better have some thing more real and more robust . Sadly this is not true for most of the cases.
# 8 Learn to be comfortable with your self
Being Alone force you to be in the company of one person who matter most in your life YOU . We feel bad because we don't really know this person or we have forgotten whatever little familarity we had . whats left is a chaotic mix of your friends and family's opinion . without rhyme or reason . Take this time to sort it out . Take this time to be friends again . Its not some freudian crap i am talking about its your life which is being dicussed . As I don't know you so i can't suggest what you should do specifically . but i can tell what I did so that you can get a general idea .
Once i resolved to fight back , I realized that only thing i have on my side is time . I started using it for good . started spending time on my self . All the while i knew some of my prsonality issues .aggression , too much analysis , too mcuh involvment , too much spending , etc etc . I always wanted to work on them and improve them but never did. with nothing else to do i started focusing on these aspects of my persona . Initial result are very encouraging. You will be surprised to see what you are capable of . It require a lot of disciplain initially but soon it becomes a routine . Today I wake up early (5:30) read a book for an hour, walk for 10 -15 minute. every weekend I do my own laundry .I have actually started saving . all this was stuff of dream few months back .
I am nowhere near my goal . I am nowhere close to attaining my residual self image. there is a long road ahead .whatever I have achieved till now are my private personal accomplishments.I am sure their will more acid tests down the line .It will be hard but for the first time in many years I want to give it a good fight . for the first time in many year i am starting to believe . I doubt if any of that would have happen without the opprtunity of self reflection offered to me in the disguise of solitude .
# 9 Work on your interest :
You are single , you have a 5 day work week , you have some money to spare . you might as well use it on doing all the stuff which makes little sense to do but which you always wanted to do . Travel to little known places , Read those obscure book you heard about , buy yourself a set of lego bricks,Indulge in Window Shopping .kind of stuff which is generally associated with kids or old people . They do it due to lack of other option and its unlikely that they wil be able to alter their life in any siginifcant way by doing that . but you are still young you can use the learning for your own good .
In last 06 months or so i have traveled a bit . read some weird books like simulacra and simulation , tried my hand at lego bricks .I learned to paly opening chord of "Ajeeb dastan hai ye" on aryan's synthesizer . I am proud of every single second of doing that . find your own muse and you will be happy too . [ By the way Making model with lego bricks turned dout to be more difficult than I imagine . other good thing about having lego blocks in your apartment is that you have some bright colored thing around . ]
#10 Fix your dinner your self
I Love cooking so I am biased on this one .It may or may not be usefull for you to same extent . But it won't do much harm either . I learned to cook three chicken dish , i can make a brittish breakfast of pan cakes and many such stuff . How i did that ? By putting my laptop on refrigerator in my kitchen , searching google recipie , watching youtube video of cookery demonstration. while listening to some song using winamp . It was Fun ! Try it .
By any standard I am still a loner and I have a long way to go . But it hurts me a little less now and I am fighitng it . I dare say that now there is some fun in this .I write this so that you can also look at it in same way . I hope that these rants are usefull for you .
Thanks For reading a Loooooong Post .