Navigating the Lonely Sky

Taken from the strip of SOLO Flight, a motivational book about embracing singlehood authored by Grace Chong and Francie Castaneda-Lacanilao, Navigating the Lonely Sky perfectly describes where I am now. And it pierces hard in my gut. Not only the phrase exactly defines the current state of my life, it also serves as a scary warning to the unexpected.

Though it's not odd to be alone, and one third of the earth's population breathed a solitary life, it still left me wondering why it seems I couldn't move away from that stigma. What is it that blocking my way to be noticed?

The line that follows in the navigating the lonely sky page sounds like a familiar billowing grunt from a distance that's been haunting my life all throughout these years: "Ah, true love. So elusive. So evasive. Some find it at the exact time they wished for it. Some find it too late. Some never find it at all".

Some never find it at all!

It hits me to the core. But do I have a choice? Do I have the right to complain? Yes, it's love month but still the idea of romance remains an incomprehensible quest in my life. As though I'm destined to search for it through eternity.

No one seems interested to pick me up. No one cares. As though I'm a great shame to the one I chose to be close with. I'm only useful if they can benefit from me. Other than that, I'm nothing. And I often wonder why the very people I chose to be with, can't be proud of me. As if something is terribly wrong with my personality.

For years, I was battling inferiority complex because I always thought I wasn't good enough on many things, that's how people made me believe. However, lately, I've learned to adjust, and recognized the fact that I can't control other people's perception towards me. The only thing that I can control is my principle. So, I shouldn't dwell too much on negativity.

Too much concerns already clogging my head. Being alone is one. Despite my happy disposition and my positive outlook, I'm still wary facing the future alone. In the previous years, the notion of living alone scared me to death and gave me a hell of a misery, thinking why I could not have someone when everyone in my surroundings snagged partners before they could turn 30. 

I remember the time when I was still in my early 20's, the period when young ones started building dreams and mapping life plans, I was told that there's a time for everything, that I shouldn't be worried because God prepares someone better for everyone. Just Wait.

So I continued with my journey, unaffected with society's pressure over finding "the one" early in life. Because I was so confident with the thought that someday I could have my moments also with somebody whom God has chosen for me.

By then I developed a certain principle that women should only settle down once they're psychologically, financially, mentally and emotionally prepared to take the plunge. And that I should only take one relationship in my lifetime. So I stretched my patience a little longer. And waited. 

But years went on with nothing happened. I  couldn't find someone who could compliment my personality. I couldn't find an opportunity to stumble on "the one". I wasn't close to anybody. I've known guys around but everyone seemed resembled a toad that could never transform into a prince.

Not that I was looking for perfection but the basic elements were not there. Emotion. Affection. Compassion. Everything just wasn't there. But, yeah, there were few exemptions, but they were looking to a different direction away from from me. Am I too undesirable?. Still, I was confident that someday I would have my story. 

So I waited. And waited. Until months rolled into years. And years into a decade. But because my principles in life are deeply rooted in my religion, I sought comfort to this biblical quote from the book of Ephesians, "Everything in life happens in time that God chooses". This ultimately became my life's mantra. 

While undergoing the ritual of waiting, I became observant with the movements in my environment, hoping God finally heard my prayers and sent someone to solve the puzzle of my destiny.  I closely observed the people I met, the circumstances I were in, the elements that drew us up together. Everything was thoroughly scrutinized.

And it happened. For months, the discernment went on. Bubbles of excitement started bursting in my horizon. Moment by moment, high expectations ballooned like I was going to explode with so much happiness. Each day, I watched my hope grew rapidly into my palm. I nurtured it with affection. Things seemed going rosy, like perfect blooms when the spring season arrives. I wake up each day looking at the peaceful horizon, anticipating for a happy ending of my long quest. Hoping that any moment of tomorrow will give me a different story. An exciting one.

That tomorrow didn't come.

Just like every assumption of something that simply wasn't there, things blew off like pieces of dust.  ONE DAY, reality just fell into my lap and discovered something. And hit me like I was destined to suffer tribulations all my life. The assumed affection I breathed for almost a year was only a product of my own interpretation of an over-analyzed meaning of sympathy. 

Everything fizzled that day. That very morning.

Once again I tasted the acid rain of rejection burning the last fiber of my skin. The "sign" I've kept hoping as God's message for His "special gift" turned out to be another misread quote of wrong assumptions. It pinched on my skin like tendrils of a blistering summer sun. 

I rolled to my bed, wondering between tears why I often overlooked. And why someone couldn't just choose me. What's wrong with me? The searing effect touches the deepest part of my soul that it thoroughly reignited my hostile concept of relating, which has been the catalyst of my solitary life.

Perhaps, I shouldn't allow myself to be close to someone again because I've this tendency to get emotional when things become blurry, or when I'm being turned down over somebody else. I've this tendency to assume things beyond friendship. That's why perhaps no one wants to associate with me. They're scared. 

My self-confidence faltered. And once again I drunk this self-defeating thought about myself that I'm not attractive enough to catch someone's attention. No one is really  interested. Everyone is turning me down.

So I leave it here, and move on with my life. And just be contented with what life is offering. I'll just continue writing stories. Perhaps, this is how I made for. To write stories of varied emotions. And live my life alone.

Unwanted. Abandoned. Rejected.

Why I often fell prey into this kind of depressing patterns? Did I overanalyze my goal? Or already impatient to see myself embark into another chapter of life. That's why I am rushing things up.

Of course I am!

In the current state of my life, I couldn't afford to just chill in the corner. I don't have much time to take things slow, or take too many stop overs. I should make decisions now. Or the chance will thoroughly pass me by. 

I'm rushing things up maybe because I'm so scared to sail into the sunset of my life alone. I'm already tired of being alone. Doing things alone. Dining alone. Walking alone. And I'm terrified to navigate the sky alone. It's lonely and scary out there. And I need someone to walk with me and hold my hand and assure me that there's nothing to worry.

Perhaps, my deeper sense still couldn't absorb the negative thoughts of singlehood because I've prepared so much to have a family. But it looks like I'm often stumbled on the wrong road and ended up choosing the wrong people to be close with.

Reassessing every circumstance of my life recently, I resigned to the fact that no matter how much I tried, there are things in life that I can't simply get. There are things that are pushing beyond my control and there's nothing I can do about it. So I let things go and focus on what I can do at the moment.

Acceptance is always liberating. It frees our mind from the notion that we're not good enough that's why someone gave up on us and look for another. It's not. Maybe things are not just meant to be. And God prepares someone better. Somewhere in this world.

From now on, I'll start recognizing the fact that I can't simply put the rotation of the earth into my tiny hands. Things move according to where it should flow, something I can't control. So let it be.

I'll start looking on the brighter side of life. And think of the better things to come. After all, I still have my life to live. And it won't end up just because someone rejected me. 

Assessing my life story and the circumstances that follow, I've this notion that perhaps I've been looking for what's not there. I've been looking for a perfect balance. Not too less. Not too much. Just a perfect taste. I've been waiting for the right moment. I've created my own myth of survival.

Goldilocks syndrome. That is.  And I'm guilty of this. 

A person with Goldilocks syndrome is someone who keeps looking for the right timing, the right moment, the right circumstances, the perfect combination of everything, and the right balance of what a partner should be. Not too perfect but never too less. Just the right amount of those ideal characters and attributes.

That's a Goldilocks syndrome, and many of us are guilty with this. More than half of the world's population suffered from Goldilocks syndrome especially those who have high expectations. 

I should discard this Goldilocks syndrome and get on with my life. But first. I'll recognize my shortcomings. I cannot move forward without recognizing my flaws. This is where I should start.

I still have so many things to work on with in myself. My views in life, my too tight concept of relationship, my preferences who to be with, my gone-with-the-ages concept how people should behave. I should stop assuming things wrongly whenever I get to close to someone again. I'll just allow things to flow.  

I must bear in mind that people have choices too, including the one I once close with. They also have a life to live and they've their own preferences who they want to be with, to whom they want to  spend the rest of their lives with. And it must be respected. 

Having all these hullabaloos in my life, I've realized that: The Goldilocks Syndrome must be discarded. It won't take me anywhere. And from now on, I should liberate my mind from the fear of navigating the lonely sky alone. I'll just enjoy the view and marvel on stars. 

I should stop thinking that being alone is associated with loneliness. That having no one in life is associated with despair and scare. It's not. And no one and nothing can ever guarantee of achieving total happiness. Because happiness comes from within in. It's a state of the mind.

Pain is absolutely part of our journey and it should not be scared of. One way or another we will encounter and experience pain as hard as the rock as we go along in life. Embrace it and learn from it. It will make us a better person.

When the sting is gone and the circumstances are understood. Things will make sense. And everything will be appreciated including this momentary distress. So let it go. And move on. Life is too short to be wasted on regrets and remorse.

Someday, things will get better.

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