I’ve never really been the kind of person to be so moved by strangers. If anything, I’ve always been pretty unobservant of strangers. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I notice everyone around me, and you’ll almost always see me smiling, but you’ll never really catch me looking in one direction long enough to be moved by anything that might be happening there. But it’s different this time. I don’t know if it’s because I’m fundamentally a different person, or if I’ve been able to strip back enough layers to return to who I am at my core, someone who cares too deeply.
Today in particular, I feel entirely moved by this old man that I see in Starbucks. Having seen him for two days in a row now, I feel somehow invested in him. He sits alone, shoulders hunched, and eyebrows furrowed. He is visibly old, unwell, and frankly, lonely by the looks of it.
The thing is, it is not just him that moves me. It is in the way that I look around the room and see my expression echoed in the faces that look towards him. We are all struck in that moment by just how lonely life can become when you have no-one to share it with. We are all a moment of stillness in this busy coffee shop. We are all a collective moment of realisation and reflection.
It is in this moment that I realise despite the fact that I’d convinced myself that it wouldn’t be so bad to spend life in one’s own company, that’s not necessarily what I’d like. Because there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely, you know? I can spend days on end with naught but my own company and have the time of my life because I’m doing things that bring me joy at a pace that keeps me sane, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t be nice to share this experience with somebody. At the end of the day, we all seek the comfort of companionship. We seek those whom can become our resting places. Our safe havens.
And I know, I know it’s been written. Years before anything was made, before the earth took form and humanity came to life, your name was written next to mine. Like the stillness before the storm, and the blossoms in the spring, our lives have been written together as a fact of life. But the truth is, I’m a little tired of waiting. And yes, I know, before you tell me, be patient because Allah is the best of Planners, and it is He who brings to us what is written, but I am so ready to share my time and space with the person the greatest Creator of all knows I will balance out with. I am ready to start living out my chick-lit dreams, but most importantly, I need an IKEA buddy who will pretend that everything I pick is the bee’s knees (totally kidding, please don’t quote me on this, ever).
And on that very disgustingly personal note, I will wrap this up and let both you and I return to reality. I pray that you are all in good health and faith, and that all the days of your life are treating you well.