After a long time, I come back to the keyboard – not for punching out code or laying out project schedules, but for speaking about what goes on in my mind. What brings me here is the title of this post. This was a question put to me by a friend, who asked me to ponder over it. And ponder, I did. What follows is the result of that pondering.

There is no easy answer to this. So I will start with a “one word answer” and then try to explain it further. If you find me jumping from one topic to another, please blame my rusty brain (or lack of it, if you so feel). 😀 Coming to the point, to answer this in one word – yes. I do feel lonely. Sometimes I feel lonely at times when one is expected to feel lonely, sometimes I feel so at times when one is not. I have not deeply observed when (and why) I feel lonely though, because it makes the blues even darker. Instead, I just lie back and let the feeling pass. Thankfully, I have been blessed with an unrelenting optimism that has helped me the clear out the blues soon enough.

Funnily, I feel more lonely in a crowd than when I am alone. And it is not just because of a “everyone has someone to be with, and I am all alone” feeling. There can be many reasons why this happens (and I admit I don’t know most of those). It is just that I feel it would have been great to not “feel” lonely. Contrary to what one might be thinking by now, my feeling lonely has got little to do with my being alone. Do I feel lonely because of the lack of a partner or because I don’t have enough to keep myself (read: my overactive brain) occupied? No. Sometimes, I do, but mostly, I don’t. Mostly, it is a feeling whose reason and origin are something I have not yet figured out fully. Someday, I hope to.

Also, I believe that no matter how many people you have in your life, you are bound to feel lonely at times. I have read articles saying how having more people in your life means increased chances of loneliness (the logic being that you form less number of deeper relations and more number of shallow ones). Though there is some relevance in  that statement, it is not completely true. I do believe though that having people (who really matter to you) around helps you feel less lonely. People also say that we usually feel more lonely as we grow older. I don’t think so. I feel less lonely today than I felt a decade ago, and the circumstances today are not vastly different than those back then.

I must also say that I have not yet fully figured out the solution to feeling lonely (since I have not figured out the origin first). It might be a person, it might be a purpose or a goal in life. It would be fun (or chaos) if it was both. 😀 Over the past couple of years, I have moved from the “seeking a person/companion” approach to fight loneliness to the “finding a purpose, and letting life take care of the person thing” approach. Will I ever be able to find the answer to this question that has puzzled me for long? I do not know yet, but I remain hopeful. Like always, I believe in hoping for the best (the eternal optimist that I am) and being prepared for the worst (something which life has taught me).

In summation, one thing is fairly clear. Whether I manage to not feel lonely or it keeps visiting me every now and then, it is going to be a fun ride on the roller coaster of the mind. And I know that the crests will be followed by the troughs. I will try to make sure that the crests make me more happy than than the troughs make me sad. That gives me another mind worm – about the reach to the final destination. But that will have to wait for another post.

P.S.: If your brain is topsy-turvy after reading this, I really do not blame you. It is not easy even for me to figure myself out. You stand little chance. 😛