Someone famous once said, “Being unique is lonely”.
When I heard that statement for the first time, I truly related to it because I have always been unique.
As a child, I struggled to relate to my peers. While they were boy-crazy over movie stars, I never saw the point. Doesn’t it make sense to be attracted to someone who knows who you are? I was far too logical to be “in love” with someone who didn’t even know I existed.
As I grew older, the struggle to fit in only deepened. While I could be crazy with the best of them and talk a hind leg off a mule, there was this deep longing for something more. Something deeper. I wanted to talk about things that really mattered. I wanted to unburden my heart, but I didn’t know with whom I could share these things deep inside of me.
I shared them with my parents, but I still wanted to have a peer to whom I could relate.
Truth be told, much of the silliness of youth, boy-chasing and my tendency to talk too much was actually a coverup for the awkwardness I felt by trying to fit in. I was the square peg in a land of round holes. Or so it seemed to me.
It has been a lifelong struggle for me; one that has continued into my adult years.
I have often been sad and very lonely as I see my acquaintances pair off into groups. I hear of them getting together to go shopping or work out. And something within me cries out, “I want that, too”. And yet I know that there is a level of fulfillment there that can only be met with someone who truly understands you. Not the surface you. Not the intellectual you – but the real you deep inside.
For some, that comes easily. They aren’t so complicated.
But for others it’s rare. For some, it never happens.
I believe the loneliness overwhelmed me completely after I became a mom. The ability to hang out and fellowship came to a screeching halt with diapers and feedings, nap times and early bedtimes. Suddenly I found myself confined to my home.
Loneliness led to cynicism, which led to bitterness and envy. I knew I was in a dangerous place, but it seemed I was powerless against the longing I felt for real, heart-felt friendship that was deeper than hello and goodbye in passing on a Sunday.
Little did I know that the one place I avoided turning to held the answer to the deep need I had felt all my life.
Someone just like me!
Through blogging I have met a handful of “unique” friends who are deep ponderers and “old souls” like me. While we have never met in person, we have connected in a way I have never connected with anyone else my age.
2 Ways to Stop Being a Lonely Mom
1. Mommies need friends.
Oh – yes! Mommies need friends so very badly! Almost more than ever. Suddenly we find our worlds turned on their heads. Our conversations are limited to monologues like, “What is mommy doing? Mommy is making you a bottle. Do you want a bottle? You do? Oh, nice bottle. Nice warm bottle”.
Such depth. Such eloquence. Such….nonsense! But you keep talking to your 1-month old who can’t understand a word you say because the silence will drive you insane. Suddenly, your TV that sat untouched for 5 years is on 17 hours a day because it is truly the only adult-type conversation you hear.
After a short time, the longing for a heart-felt conversation is overwhelming.
2. There’s an app for that!
This is probably the part where you’re going, “Oh please! You can’t have a meaningful friendship over the Internet!”
My reply is, “Why not?”
Let’s be real for a moment. Your day is regulated by diapers, nap times, meal times, and bed times. When do you have time to actually go and visit friends on a regular basis? How often do you actually have friends over to your place?
The answer to both is probably like mine: not very often.
We live in the country and only have one car. You can probably guess how many times I actually leave my property. Let me help you – it’s rare.
It occurred to me the other day that communicating through apps over the Internet is no different than actually picking up the phone to talk to a friend across town.
Some of my friends – who live 6 time zones away – and I use Skype, Google Hangouts and Voxer on a daily and weekly basis to stay in touch.
And you know what?
We have all agreed that our lives are richer, our hearts are fuller, and the loneliness we all once felt is gone.
Mommies need friends, but sometimes friends come from unexpected places.
Here’s to my unexpected friends from unexpected places who have touched my life in unexpected ways.
Dear mommy, are you like me? Are you lonely and longing for friendship? If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past year it is that most people agree that they are very lonely. Our society has shifted and real, deep friendships are actually rare – in a traditional sense. Yet I have found that utilizing modern technology to build friendship has merit. Maybe we can’t fight what advancement has done to relationships, but we can sure make use of it – and I have found that for me, it has truly worked.