Tag Archives: Are you lonesome tonight?

Are you Lonesome Tonight?

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It’s funny how much our confidence and independence can vary on a daily basis, hell an hourly even. When you have learned all you can from your job, your boss is on your back and you stare into the abyss of your duldrums, you think you can do better, go farther, do more and start to not give a rat’s ass who sees you take long lunches or wear flip-flops in the office. But, take that same employee with a watchful boss, a reprimand, an uncertain raise, an unapproved vacation, on a contract with no certainty of full-time and there you have a bumbling little worry-wart who imagines day in and day out what job security and a paid vacation could be.

Years into a relationship, ring on your finger, child at your hip, up to your eyeballs in dog shit and pool repairs, sounds like it’s time to take your partner for granted, sounds like it’s time to wonder if the grass is greener, if you sold out too early, if you could have done better. I mean, afterall, this is your life and you gave it all up. What do you want, who would you do, where would you go, hell, what movie would you watch if you were alone? And yet, that very same person can be a little ball of angst when somebody loses their phone for the night and goes missing in action. The moment you don’t have control and there is too much silence, too much unknown, too much fear – that secure individual who don’t take no shit becomes a scared little girl. The world becomes a scary place the moment we stop controlling it.

Do you ever feel invincible one moment and worthless the next? – The Experimenter

It’s crazy how a step out of line, a pawn out of place, a question mark in a row of periods can throlonely_red_shoes_by_coffee_and_donutsw off our game. What kind of crazy thoughts and unsettled behaviours erupt. We can’t wait for a night away from real life and once you have it, you remember just how lonely alone can be.

“…. I tried to live alone, but lonely is so lonely, alone. So human as I am, I had to give up my defences. So I smiled and tried to mean it, to let myself go. Take a bow, play the part of a lonely lonely heart. Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in.” – Mika, Any other world

The Ginga Ninja

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One is the Loneliest Number

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lonely redheadI was listening to the song “I’m Just a Lonely Boy” by Paul Anka the other day and it got me thinking.  I never thought much about the lyrics as a kid and never related much to people who whined; I just sang the catchy tune that my parents seemed so fond of.  But is there more to it than that, could there be something I missed?

I can only think of a few periods in my life where I was really…truly…lonely.  I came from a family of 6 and was the youngest.  That meant that years of cute older-brother friends, neighbours, cousins, girlfriends and grandparents were around at all times.  Privacy was an unheard of thing and limits didn’t really exist.  I’m still scarred by my mother walking in during a bath to point out how her era never shaved “down there”.  I have since moved away to University residence, moved in with friends, had roommates for years and then lived common law with a boy. Rarely ever through the years did I really, truly…have a reason to be lonely…or even alone.

Lonely is a word for sad and pathetic people, right?  My friend was going through a separation and even though he had roommates, was in two sports leagues and had a girlfriend he told me he was lonely.  At the time I was really busy and thought that what he said sounded really silly.  I mean, how could he be lonely with all those people around?  So, when I tried to lift his spirits, he replied, “A different kind of lonely”.  I get it now.  It takes a really strong person to admit that.  Nobody wants to look weak.  Nobody wants to look vulnerable.

It’s not a word I have heard thrown around very much…until this past year.  Maybe it’s all part of growing up, who knows.  Now that we have baggage, now that we live on our own, now that weakness may in fact not be a weakness, but a strength…I get it.  I really do.  In fact, the girl that lived in my loft before me sent a text that read, “That apartment will bring you great things.  I spent many lonely nights there, but in the end I think it brought great karma my way”.   I was so surprised that this person I barely knew would confess that; what a deep dark secret…but what I can admit is that she knew herself and her insecurities.  Damn grownups.

Last year another friend told me that in the end, you can only rely on yourself.  In her words, “We are all alone, man.”  At the time it seemed a tad bitter and overly pessimistic, but now I get what she meant.  It’s not so much about you needing to be a loner, you know…”no man is an island” and all that jazz, but really that you can’t expect another to create your happiness.  Somewhere in that loneliness you need to learn to do your own taxes, read your own books, decide on your own TV shows and stop focusing on the fact that nobody is by your side.  Because, the only person who will be there for you your ENTIRE life…is YOU.

Your decisions only impact you (okay, okay…maybe your kids too).  You may not think so at the time, you may feel like you are failing your friends, your siblings, your parents and your teachers when you don’t get the job, run out of money or put up with crap from your booty call.  But, let’s get real…it took 32 years to realize the only person I am failing or not failing is me.  So, can I admit that I’ve been lonely over the past year and a half?  Sure as hell can.  Some days to the point I was climbing the walls…but in that silence, in that deafening stillness that needed filling…I found out a hell of a lot about me.  What makes me tick, where my loyalties lie, what I can rely on myself to do and as a friend put it, “how sensitive my bullshit meter is”.

I sort of always wondered how  people living in their parents basements wearing Star Wars T-shirts and counting out their Castleville prizes do it?  How do they spend hours, months, even years entrenched in meaningless crap without reaching out to the outside world?  Well, in some ways it’s sad and in some ways it’s survival.  Really, they are the strongest people if you think about it.

As an homage to all those lonely hearts out there, what I can say is that without emotion, emptiness or longing – a social person without a social life, a partner now single, a widow, an alienated friend, a postpartum mother…there would be a hell of a lot less memorable books and songs.  So, let’s relish in our loneliness and raise a flag to all it has accomplished…I won’t deny that it’s a lot more fodder for Country Musicians, but what you are about to find out is that loneliness doesn’t spare many and spans all genres.  This list doesn’t even break the barrier of lyrics implying the same thing.  After all, one is the loneliest number, but as long as we are all reading this, we are actually united…and really not so lonely after all.

*Songs about Loneliness*

Only the Lonely – Roy Orbison

Lonesome Town – Ricky Nelson

I’m just a Lonely Boy – Paul Anka

Lonesome Traveller – The Ofarims

Are you Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley

Another Lonely Day – Ben Harper

One is the Loneliest Number – Three Dog Night

I’m so Lonesome I could Cry – Hank Williams

Lonely Street – Patsy Cline

Mr. Lonely – Bobby Vinton

All By Myself – Celine Dion

I get lonely too – Drake

Owner of a Lonely Heart – Yes

So Lonely – The Police

Tired of Being Alone – Al Green

Tea for One – Led Zeppelin

You are Alone – Flaming Lips

Lonely People – America

If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company. – Jean-Paul Sartre

The Ginga Ninja

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