It is reaching that time of year when I really start to feel like I am missing out on a big part of my time in college. If you know me then you know that’s saying something. My time here has led to many different experiences, all of which I treasure. But I can say I have never found myself in a formal relationship.
All this time I have been on campus I have never dated or never connected with anyone enough to have any sort of affectionate relationship. Of course, I can’t be the only person on this campus who has done this, but I think the expectation of doing so drives those of us who could relate farther apart instead of closer together.
I have met students on campus who are encouraged to find someone while they are in college and others who aggressively seek (need) it because they have never mastered the art of loneliness. Who can blame them? When it comes to either questioning one’s self worth or taking whatever answers are being handed out, most will take the easy way out. Religion has showed this works for centuries. “If I cannot find love here then certainly the imaginary superbeing loves me, right?” The world is strange and confusing enough without having to figure that mess out.
Now, I don’t have the answers to the universe but I do know what solitude is. For some it is the answer and for others it is a punishment. For me it is both. What greater way to experience the world than in all its splendor, whether it’s hiking the most beautiful mountains or sitting in an orchard watching a golden sunset, by yourself?
But then there is that sudden, empty stomach feeling of not knowing what it is to see the world with someone who is more important than any mountain or sunset. When you are with that person you can’t help but feel there is no need to climb the tallest peak or see the brightest star. That person makes your world brighter than it will ever be. Relationships are often associated with words like trust, love or commitment. For me these are all important concepts. But more important, I think, is inspiration. This can be the foundation on which other ideas are built on.
I know this sounds like the bad musing of a wannabe poet and I apologize because that’s exactly what it is. Every year it seems the leaves turn, Jack Frost rolls in and by the first snow I realize just how lonely this winter is going to be. I am sure these thoughts will drift away when there is a warm fire, good ale and even better friends with which to share it. The world may at times seem like a cold, cruel place. But that is why we throw on another log and keep the fire burning. At least until we find the right person to stick around and help keep us warm.