Often times I find myself alone with my thoughts. This isn’t to say I’m physically alone, no, though even in the company of others my mind tends to wander. My eccentric mental behavior derived from a sudden realisation one day focused solely on the word “eternity”. My young, naive mind had developed this world in which I enclosed every and all thoughts pertaining to my very existence in a sort of psychological jar. On that day, those eight letters abruptly formed a cognitive thought. Eternity. They bore through their shackles of mere diction and became something so incredibly real. I was caught unexpectedly, fear suddenly grew like a cancer, enveloping me, isolating me from the world around me. I gripped my mothers hand tight and blinked my eyes open. I was in sunday mass. The pastor had finished his sermon on the perpetual afterlife. I was covered in a cold sweat, my hands trembling, my stomach overturned. I was only five years old when I had my first existential crisis.
For the next few years the effect of my convoluted exposition plunged me into this vast world of mental, physiological, even spiritual woe. I began to break away from many customs set in my life. Suddenly everything became a question. Not in the traditional sense of how does this do that, but instead in why this existed in the first place. All of a sudden I felt so incredibly insignificant in the world, no, in the universe. Like a grain of sand becoming aware of the seemingly endless granditude of the shore it constituted. I quickly developed a fear that took control of my life. A dread so real it overpowered any monster under my bed. It was a primal fear that was embedded into the psychosis of every living creature. The fear of being alone.
Webster’s 1913 dictionary defines the word loneliness as the following:
1.The condition of being lonely; solitude; seclusion.
However, for me it was so much more than that. It was an overbearing abomination ready to consume my very thoughts, plunging me into a terror-stricken panic. Fear turned into dismay, and dismay turned into sorrow. Depression began swarming under my skin like a parasite nesting, burrowing deeper and deeper. Time seemed like a forestalling entity in my life. I was lost in the inner workings of my own mind.
My story had come to an abrupt and melancholy finale.
I was ten years old when I decided life was pointless and futile.
Yet, all it took was something senseless, something so irrelevant and pointless to rekindle me. All it took was the view overlooking the towering pillars of the city, the night skyline. The labyrinth of intricate roads and pathways carved into the earth. Brick and steel reached endlessly into the sky as if to disappear in the endless veil of night. Neon ciphers lining walls. Street lamps forming perfect rows creating a metallic jungle. All these things came together to form a picturesque utopia of humanity. A monument to our advancement as a species. Still, one thing stood out above it all. One element that created an atmosphere so incredibly unifying. Each building was checkered with soothing glows. Windows, shimmering with luminous brilliance. I came to form a frivolous yet comforting idea in my mind. Each light, each aperture, was a representation of someones life. Something so mundane as a pane of glass suddenly became a gateway to an odyssey I had no knowledge of. It was a beautiful feeling of wholeness. As if that same awareness of insignificance was suddenly replaced by a feeling of belonging. I was a part of this new form of endlessness, a virtually infinite collection of memoirs and biographies that populated this world. I was part of something bigger, my narcissistic view on the life transformed into a humanitarian perspective. My world stopped at those around me, I knew nothing beyond the friends and family that encompassed my life. I wanted to change that, I wanted to make my world bigger, meet more people. I no longer felt alone. The people I saw every day, their lives were worlds of their own. Not only did I want to be a part of this ambiance of lit windows in the night skyline, I wanted mine to shine the brightest.