You are alone. In your heart-racing stress and its consequent quest for calm. As you press your hands to your body or to a wall to find grounding, you are alone. In the alleyways of your mind where alternate scenarios to events past perform playback theatre, you are alone. When your unshakable morals stand their ground, there will be no audience. When human logic escapes you, there will be no sister to turn to and consult with. Remember! That logic is elusive to you alone. That infinite circular staircase of dissent that leads nowhere you will climb, wondering if the world has left you behind or if you are ahead of the curve. You are alone in your anxiety, silent screams that no one hears. For them you are too successful, too old, too disciplined or too privileged to be anxious. In the moments leading up to the end, you are alone.
In reading a book, falling in love, memory of a dish, selfishness you feel or the taste of a December morning in 1999 you are alone. You can explain what the flapping of a wraparound skirt in a small town made a 14-year-old feel. Invincible, beautiful, modern and free. But words will fail you. The exhilaration you felt at the start of the day, the deep sense of shame you were gifted that day, the confusion of not understanding why a bare knee was a problem, the feeling is not in those instances. The feeling is in your mind—doubt; etched. The stares, the giggles, the stern whispered warnings.
Live life as if you are alone and be surprised when you find a helping hand. A helping hand on your shoulder or holding your hand. Accept it without question. Give into its charm completely. But until then, live for yourself, as if you were alone. Because to believe in the other, to hope for the other, is foolish. It is foolish to believe that someone will walk with you. Of course, if you have faith, He will walk beside you through the night. But this is a PSA for those living outside faith. There is no one. If everyone’s life has a purpose, the purpose of yours cannot be in service of another. And if life has no purpose, then there you have it.