Sitting at my computer, in what I now consider my office, I suddenly realized I had lost site of a few things. The last few days have been hard on me, for one reason or another. But it all came down to one realisation, paradise or not, lonely is lonely, and loneliness is a horrible thing.
This one small thing had managed to completely occupy every thought for me in the last day or so. From regrets of the past, to worries for the future, I couldn’t shake my fear of loneliness.
So while it is still true that I am lonely, I had become fixated. A point I had been making a day or so ago and a post I had been writing, focused on denial and its effects, a post I will still post in time. The reason for that post was because I could no longer deny certain situations in my life were not conducive to me being happy, nor could I deny how lonely I was.
With both of these facts still true, I struggled to get started today. Even though, while watching the Mexican (one of my all time favorite films), looking through the door of the place I am staying, I could see crystal blue waters and a clear blue sky through the palm trees that line the balcony.
So I finally got showered and set out, still consumed by the worries, not noticing the coconut grove as I set off down the hill. The coconut grove, is a large expanse filled with palm trees and huge beautiful volcanic boulders just down from the apartment. As I passed the grove, there would no doubt have been the sounds of the tropical birds native to the island, small birds with shocking yellow beaks and feathers round the eyes, who song I love. There would also have been the sounds of the lizards chirping away, another smallish animal and sound I have quickly become enamored with. Nor did I notice the sun shining down, warming my skin in a way I usually find comforting, nor the lush vegetation which almost seems to glow in the sunlight, nor the butterflies, some as large as my hand, that always dance that same vegetation lining the edge of the road I drive down.
I passed in to town, a lovely small beach community, where in time I know friendships will form, but not giving any of the people a second glance, my mind still completely consumed with my worries and concerns.
I strolled around town for a while, had some lunch, bought some shorts, then head to the office along the beach. The beach I had to walk along, the crystal blue water, the clear blue sky, the people out relaxing, hadn’t even registered. Sitting down, the waitress who now already knows me came over as I started my machine and asked if I wanted my usual, a mixed fruit juice and large bottle of water. Today instead I went for a coconut shake and the water.
So once the machine started up, I checked my facebook page as the waitress brought me my drinks, with what would have been a pleasant smile that I did not notice either. I checked my mails and messages sipping my drinks, but not really reading any of them, still consumed with these worries of denial and loneliness.
In this past year while trying to get myself and my life to a point I am proud and happy with, I have started to follow a number of web sites, all of which I have mentioned before. I had a message from the bridge maker, they had an update How to be Happier: 16 life rules to remember.
So, after dealing with a few messages and mails I decided to read the post. As always the majority of the post made sense, most of which stuff I had already learnt over the past few months from various other sources I had read and watched. Some of the post did not apply, as anyone who knows me knows, I am not religious, not in the sense the bridge maker means at least. I do not believe in a Christian idea of a god, which the bridge maker quite obviously does. But even still each of the 16 points did makes sense, even those that required a belief in god, the title for those points just had a different but relevant meaning to me.
At the bottom of the post was a list of additional reading, other guides to happiness the bridge maker saw as relevant or good advice. So I started to click through the links, I got through maybe the first two or three, all of which made sense. At some point, one of the pages took a little while to load, more to do with the internet connections on the island than anything else I’m sure, but while this page was loading I sat back in my chair, picked up my water and took a sip.
As I looked up at the view in front of me, the advice I was just reading fresh in my mind, my eyes opened for the first time today.
It is a beautiful day
The sky is a lovely shade of light blue, with a gentle breeze bringing in fresh air and the faint smell of the sea. A few clouds dot the horizon above crystal blue waters that stretch as far as I can see, with the areas of the island I can see, to the left and right of me, a landscape of rolling hills covered in lush tropical vegetation. Relaxing music is quietly playing from the ‘office’ and I can hear the sounds of the sea gently kissing the shore. Now I have taken the time to notice, I can hear the birds I love so much and missed on my earlier trip, accompanied by those lizards. The island dogs, friendly and for the most part owned, run the length of the beach playing and splashing in the water.
There are a few, but not many, people on the beach, some laying out enjoying the sun others playing simple beach games. One of the islands only real types of taxi, the long tail boat, has just come to shore. It is dropping off a number of people, people who have either just visited somewhere else on the island, a spot, to be honest, probably more beautiful than even this small slice of paradise. Or they are people coming here for some shopping, from one of the more remote areas of the island. In the distance I can see one of the dive boats, most likely full of people either going out to dive, or coming back having just done so.
Sat next to me a couple sit laughing, playing their own version of jenga, while in front of me a number of people lay relaxing, chatting, drinking, soaking up the sites and sounds. The ‘office’ is a small wooden structure, surrounded by palm trees, directly on the beach. It has free wi-fi for punters, free power supplied for your laptop, it serves food and drink, and in front has a decked area covered with low tables and thai lounge cushions for relaxing on. All the staff, exceptionally friendly, now know me and now call me internet for the fact I come in most days, sit here working while ordering drinks all day.
A guys just walked in who has recognized me from the last few days, said hi and asked how things are and I’ve just got a text asking if I want to grab a drink at another of the beach bars. Which I’m now off to do and will finish this post when I get back.
So, I’m not in the office any longer, I now sit in a bar further down the beach, with what is to be honest a better view, as I can now clearly take in the edges of the island. Iron maiden plays quietly in the background and the guys obviously listening to it, are playing killer on the pool table, which I’ve said I’ll be in on when I finish playing this. On the way down I noticed the beach cinema was playing 28 Weeks Later tonight which I think I’ll go watch. The beach cinema is a large sheet attached to some poles set out on the beach, the nearest bar has a projector and they show films most nights. The other night it was Surfs Up, one of my faves, although that night it made me a little sad for one reason or another.
And so sitting here watching the sky turn a deep red I realise that much like the things I have been reading today have said, a little perspective is needed. A little appreciations for what I do have instead of fretting and worrying about what I do not. Denial is not such a powerful thing that it stops you worrying about the truth. Denial wouldn’t be so bad if it were, at least in denial you could find some peace. Instead denial is just the mechanic that stops you doing what you know must be done.
Equally loneliness is not something that can be cured with a clear blue sky and crystal blue waters, no mater how beautiful. Not when the type of loneliness I mean, is the want to share this with someone truly close to you. Someone you want sitting beside you, laughing and playing jenga. Someone you want to see these things because you know their appreciation for them will be just as passionate as yours. Someone that once the sun has set and you’re feeling tired, you can both go home, falling asleep watching movies in the comfort that when you wake in the morning, the first thing you’ll see, before the bright blue sky, before the crystal clear sea, before the palm trees, will be that one person. That one person, who so long as they‘re by your side, you‘ll never feel lonely.
Loneliness is hard enough, but harder still when you know you’ve had what you crave, just as hard knowing you could have that again. Knowing you could have money in time is no real comfort when you have none, companionship is no different. But until that time comes, until I do find the person who can fill that void. Until I do find the courage to face denial and deal with it, I need to appreciate what I do have in my life.
Stuck in world of complaints, never appreciating the good around you, leaves you stuck in that world of misery, as misery is all you will see. Appreciations of those things you do have, no matter how small or large, makes spotting and appreciating the new opportunities as they come along, easier. It opens your eyes to those small windows of opportunity that move us on to the next happy moment, happy situation, helps us build upon the good we do have with more. It helps us find the strength to deal with the denials in our life, accept the truths if those things that are making us miserable. open our eyes to the people and things that could again make us happy.
I of all people should find appreciation easy, as I of all people have a life worth appreciating, especially given the life I have. in truth, today, I feel disappointed in myself for some of the complaining and self pity that I go through. Sure my life is not perfect, I can think of a number of situation I would love to change right now, but the truth is, all of those situations are beyond my control. So although my life is not perfect, rather than dwelling on those points that are less than perfect, points beyond my control, I should be focusing on the steps I can take to makes sure I achieve those things that are under my control.
I should be appreciating how truly beautiful my life is.
If I can truly appreciate that, in time, that thing I want that is beyond my control, will come to me in one form or another.
'Feeling grateful to or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.' - Christiane Northrup M.D.