Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The rollercoaster of Solitude and Loneliness (3)

Last Saturday, I brought my guest to Amsterdam Airport for her long trip back home. I am now home alone again and suddenly reminded of the beautiful Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach collaboration: “This house is empty now”. It felt good having my guest around for 12 days despite its impact on my writing. We worked out of sensible compromise though.

Not everything went well. After a lovely day, a nice dinner and several glasses of wine, our second evening turned into a disaster. She was joking with me for quite some time. At a certain moment, I assumed she was serious given her facial expression. I felt rejected and abruptly turned away from her. She did the same. We both felt very lonely – together. When we finally talked about it, mutual wrong assumptions had been the cause of the misunderstanding. Forgiveness healed our wounds.

Most of the time, things went well. These days even reminded me of the good days in my second long relationship. She had also been foreign. I noticed some striking similarities regarding mutual problems: culture, humour and native language. To some extent, I was even glad about these good memories found their way back to me. A part of me somehow still loves a part of her.

A few hours after my guest’s departure, an old flame reacted to my blogs “open letter to my readers” and “the rollercoaster of solitude and loneliness (2)“. She proposed to reconnect as friends. She claimed she also loves her solitude. Over the years, I have noticed that this old flame has a habit of reaching out to me when she is in between relationships. Back in June, Joan had suddenly asked me about her. I am trying to remember that conversation. I think I made a promise to Joan.

Having my guest for 12 days around me, made me realise that I can combine solitude (work) and pleasure (life). It’s just like finding another type of work-life balance. I think, feel and believe that I now also understand why I was recently relieved when a romantic opportunity did not happen. I was afraid that this opportunity would bring me back to the Wants level in my own Needs-Wants-Beliefs pyramid. Fear has always been our worst advisor.

Today, I am home alone and hiding in my bed with an autumn flu. This blog thus takes longer than usual because I close my eyes to rest after writing a paragraph. Right now, I don’t have the mental clarity to write blogs that require research. Perhaps there will be no new blogs for several days. My continued coughing, sneezing and tiredness makes it hard to find my flow. To some extent, I find my words in a subconscious flow during my “sleeping”. So I woke up a few times, in the middle of last night, in order to write down these words.

During the past two weeks, I have learned that my solitude is not my wish or aim in life. It’s a precondition for my “work”, my writing, which is also my passion. After writing this, I realise that my work or “work” is still my passion, like the three decades before. An interesting and unexpected conclusion. Once again, the things that are closest to us, are also the hardest to see.

Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – This house is empty now (1998) – lyrics, videoWiki

So this house is empty now 

There’s nothing I can do to make you want to stay 

So tell me how am I supposed to live without you 

Note: for the ones I loved and the ones I still love


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