Last Friday I lost my oyster card!!!! This is simple and I will make it clear. Living in London means public transport is king. Driving makes no sense because public transport is relatively faster and more economical. Without your oyster card, commuting in London is virtually impossible. My monthly oyster card zone 2-3 cost me £85 and I lost it!!!!! Imagine losing your car keys; that is exactly what happened to me. I had dropped the kids off at school but was not yet at work. I was right in the middle of nowhere. I still had 2 weeks left on it. I decided to call my husband for some sympathy.
“Me: Hello Tunde”.
“Tunde: ooh! Tope, I’m sleeping; you know I don’t sleep well at night”.
“Me: How could you say that? You don’t even know why I called you. I’ve just lost my oyster card”.
At this point, I cut him off; I felt so alone. I’ve been married for over nine years, with two adorable daughters and a sometimes good husband. Scratch that, my husband is good but very human. I have wonderful friends and family that I’m extremely close to. I.AM.NOT.AN.INTROVERT but I felt so alone after that conversation with my husband. Please do not imagine a forlorn looking picture of me; all dejected and defeated. Nah!!! It is all in the mind. Aloneness doesn’t necessarily mean those who are seen sitting alone, all by themselves. That could sometimes be a sign of loneliness but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes we are surrounded by masses of people, yet we feel alone. Loneliness is a perceived feeling that we are alone to carry our burdens, we have no one to enjoy life with. In dictionaries, loneliness and aloneness are synonymous. However, some schools of thought argue that loneliness isn’t the same as aloneness. They claim loneliness is a state of mind when you are constantly missing a loved one. To them, it is a negative state of mind. Aloneness on the other hand is positive; it is sheer independence. I disagree, in the context of this blog; I intend to use them as synonyms.
Aloneness or loneliness is often said to be human issues, and this could be said to stem from our “being a social animal”. God created wo (man) as a social being, to derive joy from the company of others. Now, you can tell me you are an introvert and I perfectly understand that not everyone is a chatterbox like me. However, introverts/ loners do want to be with and amongst people who love and accept them. Aloneness could be seen as dependence on other people to help maintain your self-esteem. Dependence is not necessarily unhealthy, and if most people who know you deliberately leave you out of their company, it is quite likely that there is some problem, either in them or in you (or, most likely in both). I am not talking about my Toni’s mantra; “Daisy and Tiana didn’t want to play with me”.
However, in a bid to conquer loneliness a lot of single people go into relationships that do not edify them. Some married people stay in abusive and/ or loveless relationships just because they cannot bear to be alone. They are scared to rock the boat. Loneliness is a universal human emotion that is both complex and unique to each person. It is a state of solitude; a state of aloneness, a state of mind. In the above conversation between Tunde and me, I want to believe it was normal for me to feel alone at that point. My husband is supposed to sympathise with me ke!!!!! A whole £85 lost; that isn’t beans!!!!
To that person who panics when left alone, and constantly seeks new relationships to fill that void of inner loneliness. I say learn to love yourself; enjoy your own company. Trust me, ghosts won’t come out of the woodwork * whispering, there’s no such thing as ghosts*. Learning to be alone can be educative; it could help you focus on who you really are. God encourages positive aloneness; Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God”. People say if you are lonely as a single person; you are likely to be lonely in marriage. Well, I can’t remember being lonely as a single person but there are times I’ve felt lonely in my marriage. Tunde doesn’t get me at times. Well, I don’t understand me sometimes so I blame him not. However, I’ve learnt to enjoy my company. I will sometimes ask him to take the girls out so I can savour my own company. More often than not, I end up cleaning or on twitter but my company does not scare me. I understand that the physical or emotional absence of a loved one could make loneliness creep in. Read my lips; God created us to have dominion over all the earth, this includes our mind. It should not rule us.
So what did I do after the phone call? I called my sister, my cousin and my friend to solicit sympathy on my lost oyster card. Yes, and I tweeted about it too……what aloneness?