Moving swiftly and surreptitiously, the year 2012 has slipped by in the wink of an eye.
2012 has been a year of loneliness for me.
So many of my friends have moved on, in their locations, their relationships, their careers. People have moved away to the US, to Australia, to another city in the UK. Friends have gotten into relationships, many are engaged, some married, and a few have had children. Colleagues have passed exams, published work in journals, presented at conferences. As for me, I seem to be stuck in a rut. I am desperate to move forward too, but the sense of being left behind is stronger than it has ever been.
I feel like I have hardly achieved anything in the past year. All I seem to have done is revision, revision, revision. I have sat a couple of exams, failed one, and am forced to retake that exam again in this coming year. Reluctantly, my notes and textbooks have become my best friends, as I only ever seem to spend “quality” time getting to know them.
Last year, I have hardly had much of a social life outside of work and study. I come back to my empty flat everyday after work, eat dinner alone, watch videos on youtube in my own company, then head off to bed alone. I often go shopping by myself and am no stranger to dining out, going to the park, or visiting the cinema without company. Last year, I sung myself my birthday song and celebrated getting older by eating an ice-cream at home, alone. I made my own Christmas dinner and ate it, alone. I have no close friends left in this city, and I have nobody to hang out with even when I am desperate for company. I often wonder how long it will take for anyone to even notice my absence if I were to collapse or die at home. I try and seek solace from facebook, browsing through photos of the friends I really care about, only to be reminded that they have all moved on in life, and I am left behind.
“Go out and make new friends then!” I wish the problem was so easily solved. I work antisocial hours. I have important exams to revise for. I detest superficial polite conversations. I struggle to form meaningful friendships with older people with whom I have nothing in common. People my age are all busy getting loved up in their relationships. Younger people shy away from me because they think I am too old. And to be frank, I am boring and people are not interested in me.
At 27, I think I may be experiencing something of a quarter life crisis.
Despite all my struggles, I do believe that I am going through this for a reason. Perhaps it is so that I can be much more empathetic and sensitive to people struggling with the same kind of loneliness in their lives. Perhaps God wants me to experience a tiny fragment of the intense loneliness that Jesus has saved me from so that I am reminded to be thankful. Perhaps this is the storm that will eventually reveal a calm, cleansed serenity when its dark clouds finally part.
I honestly hope that my loneliness has reached its nadir in 2012, and that the only direction life can take on now is onward and upward! I pray that 2013 will be a year of change- for good, for better, for friendships and fun, for hobbies and happy days at work, for a man and maybe even marriage.
But most importantly, let me love God more than I can ever imagine. Let me love Him, because He first loved me.