Drew Magary on Loneliness.
Drew Magary is one of my absolute favourite writers, and I've mentioned him before. He writes hysterical weekly columns for Deadspin (the Funbag being my favourite). He writes cleverly for GQ (like this awesome profile of Justin Bieber that both makes Bieber look like the tool we all assume he is, but also makes you feel sorry for the isolated, detached celebrity child he's been growing up). He even wrote an awesome book I finally tracked down in Melbourne, which I loved. I love his writing because it's always funny, always honest (almost painfully), and always full of insight: he can make a dick joke, and then spin a sentence so powerful it will stop you in your tracks.
I just stumbled across this fantastic piece he wrote on loneliness and isolation. It documents his transition from high school to college (and his eventual transfer to another college), and while focused on a specific right of passage, I could relate to many of the things he wrote. One passage stood out for me:
The terrible part about being lonely isn't the isolation. It's the feeling, deep down in your guts, that you will ALWAYS be isolated, and that you deserve it. I couldn't make friends at Michigan, and each day I went without making a connection I felt more like I would NEVER make friends with anyone. Ever. And being alone that long made it feel as if everyone was right to ignore me. My loneliness was a kind of perverted validation of my unworthiness as someone to socialize with. I couldn't make friends. Obviously, there had to be a reason for that. Perhaps many of them. Perhaps so many that they could never be rectified.
I should point out I am not lonely (sort of), but I can relate to this feeling INTENSELY. The frustration of having such fantastic mates back home, but not really knowing how you found them, or how to make new ones (which is, I've now learned, a slow process). Being isolated does breed a feeling that maybe you deserve it, and worse, it slowly makes you feel that you'll be alone forever. I wouldn't trade the last two years of my life for anything - getting out of my comfort zone has made me a far more complete person. But I've had intense periods of feeling isolated, and they take some getting used to.
Anyway, it's a great article. Read it.