Many days I look at Obi-Wan Kenobi’s life after Anakin turned into Darth Vader and I honestly think “Goals”. I like solitude. I like being alone. I really really like doing my own thing. I’ve realized that most people in the world tend to drain me. I’ve also realized that I have yet to meet a person that really raises my energy level. My favorite people in the world are the ones that don’t drain me. Have you ever seen the Grinch? The scene where he starts listing off all the things he has “scheduled” so he can’t go to the Whobilation? If not (or you just want to watch it again) click here. I relate to this scene more than I can explain. This isn’t to say that I’m not a friendly person, and I don’t enjoy being around people, but the more self-aware I’ve become, the more I’ve realized how overstimulated I get.
However, I’ve also found that rarely do I feel lonely.
Maybe it’s because we live in this age of social media where if I feel alone, I can FaceTime my best friend who lives six hours north of me. Maybe it’s because I have the personality that whenever I do want to make friends and decide to emerge from my little bubble I typically make them quickly. It also helps that my best friend, again, lives six hours away so we schedule time for each other. I’m a sociable introvert.
This chapter was an interesting one for me and posed this question for me of loneliness vs. being alone. I don’t know why, but I always associated them both together. That you naturally would be lonely if you’re alone. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I’m seeing more and more that sometimes it comes down to what we choose. If we choose to be alone, that’s one thing, but people don’t typically choose to be lonely. Being lonely isn’t something desirable. It’s not something you enjoy being, and humans are built for contact with other humans.
What’s interesting is I saw Harry had a desire to be left alone. When the Dursley’s didn’t know what to do because Mrs. Figg was ill, they debated on leaving him alone at the house and he really really liked that idea. I wonder if part of the loneliness Harry has felt throughout his life is that he’s never alone. He’s always surrounded by people who dislike him and his presence. That is hard. That’s rough. I can’t say I’ve been in this situation but I do know what it’s like to feel unwanted in a huge group of people and it’s the loneliest feeling in the world. Maybe being lonely is more prominent when you’re actually around people.
I see lonliness in Vernon too, and maybe it’s not really there, but I find that people who complain about everything as much as he does, are typically really lonely. They don’t have any other topic of conversation except to talk about people that he doesn’t like and things they do that he doesn’t like. It makes me wonder about a possible strain on their marriage because of Harry’s presence. It had to have taken a toll on their marriage, because I bet Vernon insisted on Harry being given up, and part of me thinks Petunia insisted for him to stay (based off of information in later books.) That must have left him feeling beyond lonely, especially when his own wife turns against him. I’m not excusing his actions towards Harry, but I had never really thought about this idea before.
When they’re at the zoo with the infamous scene with the snake, I found myself struck by the statement that the snake had never been to Brazil.I’m finding that as I read through different lenses, different things stick out, and I found myself thinking about how lonely it is to be disconnected from where you’re from. There are so many people into geneology and I think because it makes people feel less alone, they can see where their family has come from, and I’ve even seen people travel back to their ancestral lands. Maybe this is why Christians love going back to the Holy Lands. You get to walk where Jesus walked, be where Jesus was, and I know that would make me feel much less lonely.
A lot of followers of Jesus who are new to the faith often say they felt alone, or lonely before they knew God, but I think sometimes following God can be lonely too. He doesn’t answer your questions on demand when you feel like he owes you answers, and sometimes, for me, that’s when I feel the most lonely. I hunger for him to trust me with that information, even if it’s not a trust issue, and then I get mad. “I’m supposed to ask you questions and you’re supposed to give me the answers” and sometimes, well, lately especially, I’ve been getting silence. Many people I know have told me that in this time of pain and grieving I should be pressing into him. Seeking him out. But it’s hard to seek someone out when you feel like they’re staying quiet. I feel the most lonely when I know his presence is here, but he won’t give me the answers I’m asking for.
Anyone want to buy my ticket to Tattooine?