I was a lonely child, a lonely adolescent, and a lonely twenty something. I was lonely in relationships and out of them. The loneliness was overwhelming and was sometimes a physical ache. I wanted connection, companionship, and most of all mutual understanding but did not know how to find it. I wrote about my loneliness over and over in my journals and after years of feeling its presence, I felt that to be lonely was probably my fate. It was a part of my identity. It defined several decades of my life.
A couple of years ago it occurred to me that I don't feel lonely anymore. I cannot remember having lain in the dark feeling the ache of loneliness in my chest at any time in the last several years. For all that may still be difficult or disappointing about how my life has shaken out, I am profoundly glad for the fierce, strong, wise women with whom I've grown close; for my parents with whom I now have more of a friendship than a ever; for a spouse from whom I receive affection every single day without exception.
Goodbye loneliness, my old friend. I know that we might meet again one day, but you have not been my fate.