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When I look back through my journals over the many years I’ve written in them, one thing has always been consistent: my lack of connection to a community—to “my” people.
They (whoever they may be) say that one of our fears in life is to not be accepted, to be considered an outcast, because it brings about the primal fear that we will be and die alone. We may find ourselves seeking to be a part of a pack and not realising how strongly embedded this is in our DNA.
I’ve lived all over the world and would like to say I have led a colourful life, however if truth be told, I’ve spent this time soul searching to feel a part of something, a connection—a family.
Today, as I sit here writing this, my six-month-old baby is sleeping beside me, whilst my dog is asleep on our bed. (My dog gets the bed whilst myself and the baby curl up on the sofa because…priorities). These two are my family, and whilst I am eternally grateful, I crave for us to be a part of something bigger.
I’ve recently tried to rectify this feeling and situation by attending mother and baby groups. I sometimes find the odd mother who’s on my wavelength and with whom I think I can see myself putting the world to right with, but I equally find that these moms are often so established in their romantic and family relationships that there’s little room for another being to enter their circle.
In addition to this, I’ve met up with other local women for coffee, sat there listening to them talk about their lives, and just felt as if a movie were playing in the background, except I’m not present enough to watch it or understand the plot.
I’ve even used dating apps to make non-romantic connections and have had a little more success, but ultimately it often leads to confusion where one person is seeking something romantic and the other isn’t.
You see, whilst I am a mother and love being so, it’s not all I am. I don’t wish to be defined as a mother as that’s just a part of me. It’s no different than someone describing me as a “human.” Well, of course I am—that goes without saying—but there’s more to me than skin and bones and a beating heart.
So what do you do when you’re 40 years of age (soon to be 41), have done some crazy f*cking things in your life (and want to continue to do more), but find it hard to establish connections with like-minded people?
Where are the people who can talk sh*t about “Love Island” and in the next breath talk about quantum physics and how the epicentre of the earth has a gravitational pull that’s like a vortex for good and bad sh*t to manifest?
Well, here’s what you don’t do: You don’t do what may feel like the most radical solution, which is sell up your home, buy a van, and have a crazy adventure in Europe with your little one, as they need roots and, ultimately, us creatives need that too.
Here are some better options:
Stand still long enough for this familiar storm to pass.
Know that everything happens for a reason, that the universe most certainly has your back and knows exactly what she’s doing.
Start by falling in love with yourself and your life—just as it is—with its darkness, loneliness, and isolation.
Know that you’re never truly alone in this world as energy and matter surround you at all times, and if you stand still for long enough, the right people will find you. No searching or seeking required.
Know that this is just another lesson, albeit a painful one that maybe you hadn’t properly learnt previously, and that the true sense of family comes from within, not without.
Stop looking through rose-tinted glasses, seeing only the friends and families and connections that are posted on social media. For every genuine smile, there will always be another that is masking a pain far greater than feeling alone. The pain that comes when we’re surrounded by company but still lonely.
And remember, there are others like you—like me—who have your back. We see you, you little rebel, you thrill seeker. And we say, “Stay, and this too shall pass, my friend.”