This line from a song keeps going through my head. For a little while, I thought I was ready and willing to start dating again. But when I really thought about it, I realized that I didn’t want to date. I realized that I don’t need a romantic relationship right now. That’s what the lonely thinks I need.
What I need is a really good close friend. What I need to find someone who is willing to help me unload my emotional baggage. I’ve been emotionally homeless for 3 years now. And while I’ve been able to leave some things with a few close family and friends, I have so much more that I must carry around with me every day. The lonely comes when I grow tired of carrying it all. After I’ve dropped something and someone kicked it back to me. Or when I sit an wonder how in the world do I carry the new baggage I collected.
Emotional baggage is like garbage. Day by day we collect it – some we create, some are given to us. Just like garbage, we can’t just drop it any ol’ place and litter. Those around us won’t appreciate us messing up their space with our baggage. So we must find people who are willing to take our baggage and dispose of it for us. And not everyone can take just any baggage. Your devout Christian mom can’t handle your baggage from the one-night-stand you had. Your non-sports fan friends can’t handle the baggage of your team losing in the playoffs. Your rich friends can’t handle the baggage of having to wait until your next paycheck to party.
This is where best friends come in. People who are similar enough to accept and get rid of most of your baggage, but different enough to provide you with a different perspective. Sometimes they help you get rid of your baggage by turning it into something useful. The disappointment of failing the road test can be motivation to try harder. One person’s trash is another’s treasure.
I really don’t need a romantic relationship right now. I don’t need to collect any more baggage than I have to. But best friends take time to grow. Some of my current friends may become best friends. Only time can tell. But managing the lonely in the meanwhile is tough. It’s painful. And it doesn’t stop. You can relieve it temporarily with a fun time out, or a good conversation. You can even give some of your smaller baggage to good friends or vent it on Facebook. But the bigger ones can only be disposed by certain people. And until they are disposed of, the void, the lonely will remain.