Now that the World Cup has come to an end, what are we going to do with ourselves? I feel like one of my close friends just went away and won’t be back till 2018. Now we have to find something else to excite us globally. When I moaned about this to someone last night, he said “we’d go back to Naija scandals”. As funny as this was, it is so true. We, as a people, provide enough entertainment for ourselves. It is probably why we’re described as “Happy People”. I mean, if you can laugh after spending 3 hours in traffic on Alfred Rewane road, then you deserve a trophy.
But, where we have traffic jams, no electricity & bad leaders, people from other parts of the world have other issues which are equally heavy to them.
Last week, there was a news feature on TV about the use of hens as pets for elderly people. It was based on the presupposition that hens are friendly, and people who nurture them stand a higher chance of warding off feelings of loneliness. The news feature also tried to make a distinction between loneliness and social isolation. At that point, I had lost interest in the chickens and I paid closer attention to the points being made about social isolation.
As a Nigerian, these issues are not really given a lot of prominence. Loneliness? “Where are your family members?” Social Isolation? “Isn’t it someone who is well fed who knows to come up with such terminology?”. One of the things which we pride ourselves in as Nigerians is the family unit. Good or bad, we are a family-oriented people. If you are moving to a new town, the chances that there is a relative – close or distant- already there. So, the concept of loneliness or social isolation is not something that we really consider to be an issue. But, it’s a human emotion and it should be considered.
Loneliness is also one of the points canvassed by the ‘Get Married Or Die Trying’ squad. It is said that nobody wants to end up alone, because everybody needs someone. So the proponents of this cause state that one stands a higher chance of a balanced life if there’s someone to share your life with.
However, some people have been dealt a bad hand with family and friends that they’d rather just be by themselves. So they’re comfortable with just being by themselves.
Recently, I was telling Nengz about a fantasy I’d been nurturing about one guy. I went on and on about how I’d seen our future together. I’d be far away in a remote town in Canada and he’d be in the UK. I’d see him once in three months and our reunions would be hot, steamy & emotional. When I paused to step off the cloud of romantic nonsense, she said “I notice that in all this your love story, you are two continents away and all by yourself”.
I replied that my own love is always sweeter from afar. Besides, I have a very good coping mechanism for loneliness. My laptop & my phone.
So maybe I’m a little weird. Just a little. But how do you cope with loneliness? Even when you have a gazilion friends, life happens and people move on. They may not disappear from your life completely, but they won’t constantly be there and life won’t be the way it was when you used to go from Faculty of Law, to Moremi Hall to QSS to New Hall. You have to understand that and find a coping mechanism.
Have a fantastic week ahead. The world cup has ended *sigh* but something fun will come soon. Please share some of your experiences on loneliness with us. Do you get lonely? How do you cope? Or do you think loneliness and social isolation is an ‘Oyinbo’ problem? How do you plan to combat loneliness when you get older and all your friends are gone?
I’ll love you and leave you at this point.
Peace, love & cupcakes,
Photo Credit: Dreamstime |Monkey Business Images