Ten Lonely Years

Being home with this change of pace reminds me of when I sat shiva for my father’s death. As per the rules of shiva, I couldn’t leave the house for seven days. But there was a difference. We were visited by hundreds of people that week. Reality set in after the throngs of visitors left.

Then there was real life. A stillness, an emptiness I couldn’t fill, let alone face.

Over the next nine or so years I was plagued by severe low self-esteem and anxiety. I had periods of growth, of hope, but never learned to fill that void inside of myself. A hole that was already there before my father’s sudden death, but only got deeper afterward.

Being home this week, we are listening to a lot of music. Some of which was from that period of my life where I was lost, single and lonely, confused and desperate. Worst of all—I felt stuck.

The stillness of this period, being home, having a bird’s-eye view of life, stepping back, giving more room for my inner musings, I think about those ten lonely years.

I’ve been married for almost five years. Finding my life partner surely answered my prayers: my despair, my fear of living alone forever abated. But I still had to continue to do the self-work to improve my sense of self-worth.

I won’t forget my single years. My heart forever goes out to all those struggling to find themselves, as well as those yearning to find their life partner.

Singlehood gives opportunity for meditative exploration, but it can also be a time of great loneliness and sadness

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