But not long after I left on my early bus to my hometown, lonely caught up to me. I sobbed hysterically through the plane ride. I cried for those hearts now at home in my heart. I cried for those who really left. I cried for no reason and for every reason and the truth is that I could not help but cry. No one can- because loneliness is about love. Because longing for someone or something and being lonely is a part of love.
We don’t talk about it. Instead we make those wild promises and worry ourselves sick with how we will manage everything and keep it all just as it was. Perhaps we should embrace lonely as a part of love. We tie ourselves in knots around the gut wrenching reality that people do leave. Departure, and arrival. We cannot control our way around them: and pretending we aren’t missing those who have left is like pretending that you only “sort of” love the book that changed your life or that you just “kind of” want your deepest dream to come true. Don’t pretend not to be lonely, sweetheart. Let the lonely be a new shape of love.
Sometimes it is only you. Sometimes it is just you and the songs on the playlist and the questions. Sometimes it is you doing the hard daily work of building your life. Sometimes you will go home and sit in the stillness and wonder- how long will I feel lonely? and there won’t be anything to do but wait and trust.
I promise, love, that those days which are only you, those days of lonely? They expand your heart most. And that is the real hope.