I have been feeling lonely lately. It’s a state of mind for me and a feeling that I’m very familiar with. Fortunately, I have accepted these bouts of loneliness and don’t freak out about them like I did when I was younger. I’ve realized, over the years, that I bring on the lonesome stage all by myself. I let people drift away from me and then I slowly guide them back into my life when I’m ready.
A part of feeling lonely is my ability to withdraw into myself. I often have very profound reflections on my life and environment. On the way to work I love to have mini philosophical conversations with myself. These are more profound as I withdraw deeper and deeper within myself. I guess they aren’t conversations because I’m not actually speaking to anyone. Anyway, I wonder why people dress a certain way – what possibly could have possessed them to believe it is okay to wear black trouser socks with white woven flats. I wonder the two girls with Mohawks, lip piercings and “angry” outfits found each other and started a relationship. Did they look different when they first met and slowly changed their looks to complement each other? Or did they look that way from the beginning and just happen upon each other? What a coincidence that would be because the only way I can tell them apart is one of them has these long tendrils of hair just before her ears that hang like ringlets.
Every day, I pass a few of the “regulars.” There’s the black dude who is giving away religious material and is always wearing a down filled coat – even on the days when it’s super hot at 8:00 am. Is he on a religious mission? Does he have a regular job? Is this his job? Not a bad job… pretty easy. Usually, I’m running late so I can’t ask him why he’s there. Plus, I’m not sure I want to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger because then I’d feel obligated to give him the “head nod” every morning. That’s a pressure I just don’t want. Then there’s the crazy guy who sings the same song – but couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. On a few occasions he’s screamed “don’t look at me” in mid-sentence (or song line). Could he learn a new song, a more current song, maybe one from the past two decades or so? My entire world is filled with questions like this. Some people love colors, some people love words… I happen to love wondering why people are the way they are.
As I grow older my patience and tolerance for other people has improved – I find myself more willing to let people be themselves without having (or giving) an opinion. If someone wants to stand on a corner drinking beers at 8:00 am, who am I to judge? It’s not the way I want to live my life – but I try to take a more tolerant approach. Maybe they just received bad news and don’t have a better way of dealing with their feelings? Maybe they just like to go through their life drunk? Maybe it’s the breakfast of champions? Whatever the case, I am finding that age is bringing tolerance and a greater amount of patience. Not a bad trade in my books.