Solving the Problem of Loneliness

People often equate loneliness with aloneness, but I was at my loneliest when I was a high-flying economist for a leading Hong Kong brokerage firm, although my days and nights were chock-a-block – producing dailies, weeklies, and quarterlies, hosting bigwig clients, lunching with movers and shakers, attending sophisticated charity dinners, running around the globe doing ‘roadshows’… And why was that? I had friends, good, wonderful folk. What could be more exciting than a life like that? Well, it was an adrenaline rush at first, but I was too busy to attend to my soul’s basic needs: simple, heart-warming connections with PEOPLE instead of their MONEY. In the end, I found I couldn’t live without that.

So, I gave it all up, and returned to a life of service. But I still had really lonely moments, because when I wasn’t out there serving others – kids in particular, or hanging out with friends, I was by myself.  You see, we’re programmed to believe that unless we have a husband or a wife, life can’t be fulfilling, and I no longer had one. But when I thought about it, I’d had some of the most frustrating relationships over the years, within which I’d felt even lonelier than when I was alone. So that wasn’t the answer.

Finally it came to me: until I learnt to enjoy MYSELF, I would never actually feel fulfilled.  So, I began by embracing silence until I learnt to be comfortable with my thoughts, my aloneness. Then I learnt to play alone: I played Scrabble with me, myself and I; I danced and sang with myself, I cooked elaborate meals just the way I liked them, I went out into nature, took long walks, and found great companions among the other creatures of the earth that we usually have so little time for, and I had a whale of a time, a whale of a time!

When I was at the height of my happiness, I met my current husband and remarried. Having learnt my lessons well, however, I refuse to give up the romance I have with myself. I still spend quality time with myself, with silence, with nature. My present contentment leads me to believe that I’ve solved the problem of loneliness, but only time will tell. I still have one more challenging adventure: old age.

About Maureen Marks-Mendonca

MMM started storytelling in the schoolyard at age 9. Before becoming a novelist, however, she travelled the world for many years as a diplomat and economist. Eventually, volunteering with youth brought her full circle. Now creating magic in novels for the young, and the young at heart, allows her to travel beyond time and space! Join Alex Springfeather in a riveting adventure to a world beyond time in Legend of the Swan Children! IF YOU CAN'T FIND LEGEND OF THE SWAN CHILDREN IN YOUR AREA, ask your local bookstore to order it, go to www.macmillan-caribbean.com to purchase, or get it from your favorite online bookstore!
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One Response to Solving the Problem of Loneliness

  1. Fay says:

    WOW! I just read your blog. Awesome, Maureen – you do speak so cogently, so purely from the heart, it is, well… heartwarming and inspiring.
    Thank you!

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