Uncovering Loneliness

Written by Katharine

Australia has been a very healing place for me.  I came into this country with a lot of unanswered questions, unresolved issues, a broken heart that still hadn’t fully healed, an emotional void constantly being filled with alcohol, and a burning desire of wanting something more.  That’s a lot of baggage to carry around from country to country.

In six months I found the courage to start over.  New career.  New city (and country).  New friends.  New relationship.  But there’s still something missing; I still feel this sharp pain deep in my heart and soul.

Buried beneath all of the happiness, excitement, adventure, and newness is deep, painful loneliness.

I’ve been struggling with loneliness for a couple years now, though I think this is the first time that I’m actually admitting it. I don’t know where it stems from.  Maybe partly from losing my parents at such a young age (and not being raised in that tight-knit family dynamic) and partly from the unhealthy relations I had with nearly every man back in America which created this dangerous feeling of inadequacy.

Traveling solo surely doesn’t erase this feeling of loneliness though.

Choosing to create a new life in Australia is certainly a monumental tipping point for me, but it does come at a cost.  I had wonderful, supportive, genuine friends back home.  I had two brothers who would drop everything and come running to me if I needed them.  I had a therapist who saved my life and helped me work through my emotional demons.  And I chose to be selfish and leave it all behind to travel the world solo and find my happiness.

Now I’m on an island, miles and miles away from my closest friends and family, trying to find a way to build a new foundation full of happiness, love, and gratitude.  I’m trying to become a successful ESL teacher, a genuine friend, and a loving girlfriend.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  Life Down Under isn’t always rainbows and butterflies; it’s an emotional roller coaster of fleeting happiness, painful loneliness, drops ofstratejoy, and moments of feeling homesick.

Being an ESL teacher in Australia is very challenging, for obvious reasons.  I’m teaching private lessons to International students and Backpackers, but it’s not steady, guaranteed work every day.  Some days I teach eight lessons, other days I won’t teach at all.

Most of the friends I had when I first got here have traveled out of the country, and it’s been tough to organize nights out with the remaining friends that are still in town.

It’s emotionally challenging to be in a relationship with a man who’s constantly surrounded by his friends and family and I’m on the other side of the world from mine.  I miss that kind of social environment and I miss being around people who really know me.  I don’t want to become co-dependent on him, but it’s tough when he’s one of the reasons why I chose to stay.

How do I make the loneliness of starting over in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from everything I know and love, go away?

I don’t know how to work through it.  I don’t know how to just sit with this feeling and be okay in the moment.

Starting over is scary.  Though I never thought I’d ever start my life over in Australia, I certainly don’t regret this decision.  This country has changed my life.  But I think that honeymoon phase of being here is officially over and now I need to start digging deep and working through this loneliness and the other emotional affects of living abroad.

– See more at: http://www.stratejoy.com/2011/07/uncovering-loneliness/#sthash.gMVcFkEl.dpuf


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