A few years ago I was visiting some friends for the weekend. On the Sunday we went to their church, the guy leading the service spoke about loneliness and commented that some people can go for days without seeing another person.
My friends live in a christian community, so being alone is something they don’t often experience, but one friend found the thought of being without other people quite shocking.
I’ve lived alone for a very long time, yeah, I really am just too choosy.
After all these years I couldn’t imagine sharing my space with someone else… nope, can’t imagine it, my mind won’t even go there.
All the years living in hostels and that little bedsit in London I dreamed of one day having a place of my own, to live on a ‘normal’street. I’d buy myself a teapot, fancy cups and matching milk and sugar bowl and although I would live alone, my home would be filled with people dropping by for cups of tea and a chat.
I’ve been in my nice little flat for seven years now and although the teapot has been bought, it’s yet to be used. I imagined my parents dropping me off at home after a day out and coming in for a cup of tea, or church friends popping over, neighbours stopping by. My home would be a place where the kettle was always brewing.
Over the years though, as my parents drop me off and drive away, and church people live in posher houses than I could offer, and a neighbourhood where we talk on the doorstep but no further I’ve kind of given up on that little dream and got on with things, hey at least I’ve no reason to clean up so often.
I’ve gone out and met people instead, volunteering, going to knitting groups, being a part of Poverty Truth, going to Uni and well, getting out there.
Then I started this enterprise year.
So, now I work alone as well.
Up until this point I’ve managed to continue the one weekly event where I get to go to my knitting group and spend an evening chatting to friends, but as from next week, that evening is taken over with business lectures I need to attend.
I’ve spent a lot of the past few days working at home, finishing craft kits and making videos. Sitting here this afternoon I have realised I’m about to hit a tough patch and need to plan ahead.
As from today, I have no allotted slot in my timetable where I get to sit down with another human being that I like and chat rubbish. I wouldn’t ever put me down as someone who gets lonely, I rather like my own company, but the thought of working alone and living alone is getting a little worrying.
It’s not that I’m never going to see people, I work in an office with others, but we’re all working on our own projects. I get in, turn on the computer, put my headphones on and work. When I do have a break it’s a quick break and if I chat, it’s small pleasantries.
On Sunday I go to church, people say good morning and ask how I am, but before you know it the service has started. Then we’re having a cup of tea and everyone’s leaving for lunch. Again, there’s no time to really get to know anyone.
Then at home, well, the cat can only hold conversations about food and sleeping.
Thankfully, I saw this bump in the road coming and am thinking of a plan, what do you think?
I have two knitting groups I can go to, but these are monthly and I they’re groups where we are learning a new skill rather than a chance to sit and chat. I need to find a group, or start one. I’ve been thinking about a knitting group on a Sunday afternoon, but am looking for a venue to hold one.
University starts again next week, I have a few friends starting their final year and I need to make sure we meet for lunch at least once a week.
I need to make the effort to get to know others in the office, although we’re mostly working on our own business ideas. I red to remove my headphones a bit more and talk to others.
Lastly, I need to get that teapot from the cupboard and forget about waiting for people to come to my home and brew the pot just for me.