Many years ago, when I lived in the city, my biggest fear in life was loneliness. I even feared it so much that I got married to the wrong man, believing I had forever protected myself against feeling lonely ever again. It wasn’t as clear to me then of course, but it’s probably pretty close to the truth.
Then something happened that turned my life upside down. I had a dream one night about moving out to an isolated island far far out in the ocean. That dream was so vivid to me that it turned out to be the start of the end of my marriage, after which I quit my job and left. Suddenly I found myself on an island where I was one of three inhabitants. It was about as lonely as it could get. And that, I believe was when you and I got in touch for the first time, Aja?
It turned out that loneliness wasn’t such a horrible thing after all. I spent the first couple of days crying inside a cave, looking at the giant endless ocean, feeling as lonely as the ocean was big. Then I started to discover the freedom that lies in being alone. For the next few months, I ran around exploring the area, searching the beach for treasures, learning how to meditate, writing a novel, fishing for crabs, and talking loads and loads to myself.
A part of me never let that go. For one, I never moved back to the city. And since then, I’ve never been as happy in a relationship as I am on my own. Like yesterday evening, I put on a white dress and danced around the living room listening to Max Richter and burning sage. I felt so at one with everything, so present and alive. Somehow I never really feel that way with a boyfriend. Not anyone I’ve met so far anyway. It turned out that by facing my greatest fear, I also found a lot of happiness. And best of all, it’s the sort of happiness that doesn’t rely on anyone or anything, it’s just there.
It is kind of fun to think about though, that you’ve been with me on this whole journey. During all the ups and downs since I quit my former life completely. Because even though I’ve spent most of these years in my own company, it’s been nice to have someone to share it with. Being alone is sure not the same thing as being lonely!