My Misery Does Not Love Company
I sat outside for the last hour and a half and got a small sampling of the Perseid shower from my backyard. I wish I could stay up later to see it when it’s more visible, but alas, I have to be at the dentist tomorrow morning at 8am for crown #2 prep. Don’t be jealous.
Anyway, I saw at least four or five meteors and staring up at the sky, in solitude, was both beautiful and humbling. I don’t know about you, but sometimes witnessing something massive makes me ache a wee bit. I felt the same way when I visited Sequoia National Park and saw the tremendous redwoods. Small and alone.
Strangely, I’m very comfortable with feeling alone in the universe. Maybe because I come from abandonment and spend a large part of my childhood feeling alone, betrayed and misunderstood.
There is so much talk about depression swirling around social media and the internet following Robin Williams’ passing. I suffered from a bout of depression in my youth (pretty much a blur now) and once again, after the birth of my beloved Aubrey. While I never felt I would take my own life, I am familiar with the dark cloud of hopelessness that is depression and I hope to never sit beneath it again. I am fortunate that my experience with depression has been episodic rather than chronic. I can not imagine what it is like to wrestle with that beast regularly.
So just tonight, while sitting beneath a sprinkle of flashing meteors, I remembered that a quote from one of Robin Williams’ movies was what helped me make sense of some of the harder times in my life and I recall it almost every time I have a personal struggle.
Robin Williams’ Russian defector character “Vladimir Ivanoff” from the 1984 movie “Moscow On The Hudson”:
“When I was in Russia, I did not love my life, but I loved my misery. You know why? Because it was MY misery. I could hold it. I could caress it. It was my misery.”
That one scene from that one movie helped me learn to embrace the struggles in life as a part of the journey. To love even the worst moments because they belong to no one else. I have experienced the greatest joy making a life that is mine and mine alone.
So maybe I’m a freak or just an extreme introvert, but the sensation of being alone – that ache, that pang – is one that gives me clarity and makes me feel alive like nothing else. For this, I am so grateful.
If you can, do yourself a favor and go outside right now. Look up and feel small.