Only The Best Water For My Half-Empty Glass (Thoughts on Loneliness)

FullSizeRenderOh hey, remember me?

What a time it has been in Ninaland! I can’t think of a better way to describe the internal fields I’ve been strolling through except with a completely serious and not at all sarcastic recap.


Few things I have done this year:

  • Successfully mastered the art of befriending* a former partner.
  • Advanced in my career. (Q: Who run the world? A: Girls.)
  • Went on a date with a current-writer-former-NBA-player who reluctantly couldn’t get past our eighteen-inch height difference (click here for the full story on “The Tragic Show” podcast).
  • Realized the wiser you get, the lonelier you are.

Try to NOT picture me as Winona Ryder [à la Beetlejuice] when I write this, but the world is a lonely place. It’s a hell of a lot lonelier when we aren’t in touch with ourselves once you remove iPhones, social media, friend circles, validation, compliments, physical love and so forth.

My catchy line of “love the shit out of yourself” is not meant to be surface-talk. It’s a solid “I dare you” to find out who you are and work on caring about that person — so much so that you won’t crumble when someone places judgement or attempts to transform you into who THEY see you as (which is rarely who you actually are).

Much like a promising career or successful relationship, this notion is a lifelong commitment. You always need to work on it. You always need to be aware. That’s why I make a point to frequently check in and ask if I still like myself. My answer is typically “Yes”, or “When you’re done being a brat, I will.” The point is, I make time to care. My well-being matters a lot to me, and it will also matter to the future Mr. Elcao.

The great philosophers, Calvin and Hobbes, once said, “I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.” A solid partnership recognizes individuality and the need to spend time working on YOUR leg of the love shack so it doesn’t crumble. Hence why loneliness is a necessity and has been a common theme in my life.

However, just with anything, the benefits of loneliness also come with daily frustrations. One day I’m chillin’ in my comfy bed longing for a big spoon since Teddy has small arms. Another day I hear Jack Johnson on my Spotify (WHOA, millennial sentence, watch out!) and picture making Banana Pancakes with a nice pair of eyes (and chest, and arms, and–). Then the next day comes and I’m just horny and looking at mannequins for longer than I should at Macy’s. So I do stupid things to bide my time between the I-hate-feeling-like-this and OK-this-isn’t-so-bad, like spending money ONLY to end up fighting off needy, “sweetie, ur gorgeous” comments on a dating platform.

Sometimes you have to take a hit if you’re dedicated to winning the war.

This post isn’t meant to conclude it is noble to keep trying no matter the comments, regret, past comparisons, and empty hope that one person is going to come and sweep remnants of your past lover(s) away. However, I DO find it incredibly noble if you stay put and not settle. Nothing is classier than testing out the dating lines and resisting to completely bite until someone fulfills the foundation of a truly committed and healthy partner — or they are dedicated to the journey of being that kind of person. 

THAT’S what you should be bragging about — the fact you have managed to stay single for two years because you were waiting for a support system — not a set of human legos you can build however you want (although that would be kinda fun if you’re into that sort of entertainment).

So what’s next for Oh Hey, Nina? How long will she spend trekking the lonely amazon?

The time doesn’t matter. She just wants to know something out there is greater than what she’s been getting; that might be all a writer ever looks for, anyway.

* “The art of befriending” v. reliving the same shitty and encompassing feelings of a past experience week-after-week while avoiding the discussion of intent then eventually agreeing on minimal-to-no-contact which is what you were doing before you had a brain aneurysm and wanted to jump back into that pool of sharks, again.

1 Comment
  • Jenny
    August 13, 2015

    I’ve been thinking a lot about loneliness lately, of the friendship breed. Since I work from home not in a new city, state, and coast…I have a lot less friends I can spend time with IRL. So, I know what you’re feeling, in a sense (says the newly married person) I feel like when I do make some new friends, I’ll be an even better friend than before.

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