I wonder if every woman has felt that way. Books and movies certainly make us feel like we are not alone in our loneliness but does that really make it any better. Society has labelled her as so many things that It becomes fragmented to establish who she actually is. Is she the girl dancing in the club in a mini skirt? Is she married with four children and a husband that is constantly working without a confidant to console her in her existence…or is she afraid to even think of herself as lonely? For me this is the most feared one of all, the woman that denies her loneliness by constantly having partners or pointless social accounts to fill up her calendar. At the end of the day the lonely woman only exceeds in hurting herself to achieve a status that she thinks society wants for her.
Am I talking from experience?…well of course I am, I am not afraid to say I once was a lonely woman, more like a lonely girl which sounds more innocent than necessary. I looked to fill the gap of solitude with a partner that met the requirements for a teenage South African middle class girl at the time which was; for him to have a car to make me laugh and above all else to go against what my parents actually wanted. The result was a Muslim man who was not even remotely like me. For the purpose of this article I am certainly not going to give his name so let’s call him Bob. Well you know Bob was great he made a girl laugh and cry at all the right times, and was genuinely a good natured person. The problem was now that I was in a relationship and I found that I was still missing something…something I couldn’t put my finger on exactly. Well Bob tried to make me stay with gifts and kind words but for some reason unknown to me at the time all I can remember wanting was to be alone. It’s all I thought about when we were together and eventually I made it a reality after some hesitation.
It’s almost four years later and I can say with a brief shadow of pride that that was around the time that I probably reached for my lonely woman. Ah you think it is despondent term but let me tell you, the lonely woman is only the first phase. You see you need to be a lonely woman to find the contented woman. The lonely woman has to cultivate her emotions like a sensitive bonsai because at the beginning it is difficult for her to even glimpse at a couple, baby, or promotion that has been taken out of her grasp. She only gradually learns to stabilize her emotions and realises that it is not those around her that facilitate her happiness but her own self as it were that is the light of this sacred thing. She becomes independently happy something I never learnt in 12 years of schooling nor three years of tertiary studies. Something I never learnt from my parents, or any other family member, or a book or movie…but maybe it was a combination of everything when I think back on watching how life can turn out for those that are not emotionally independent. We always speak about financial independence, a great thing for women in our era to experience but we never speak of emotional independence. Something that can bind us to our keepers for too long if we do not take back our independence.
It’s really not Bob’s fault you know nor was he the catapult to start this chain of events, I just wished someone could have told me earlier that I need to be emotionally independent before running head first into a relationship. It’s easy to say this is the way you need to be and just do it but I’m not advertising a pair of sneakers so all I can say is how I found my lonely women. I found her when I took a walk down the road from my college and ate my lunch in the park, I found her when I became engrossed in a future that would entail solitude. Gracefully through time the contented women is now who I see in the mirror and she doesn’t feel the despair of the lonely woman…
It is a journey for every woman one that can be treacherous for most I don’t doubt but one that undeniably needs to be taken in certain circumstances. It would be untrue to say that at times a glimmer of the lonely woman does not glisten through a look in my eye but I find solace in her sporadic appearances because it makes me remember how once I was only her…the lonely woman and because I embraced her and evolved by accepting my lonely woman I am the better for it now. I Hope this helps, my writing tends to turn out more eccentric at times than I would like but these words seem to force themselves on to the page either way and my goal has and always will be to create that spark that ignites hope in a person’s life.
The rarely lonely often content woman
By Kameshini Pillay