We Are All Alone

The picture can be somewhat misleading; being alone doesn’t have to be a sad occasion!

They say that when you’re suffering, there’s someone out there that feels your pain. They say these things to calm us down when we throw tantrums about the difficulty of our life and the uniqueness of our dilemmas. True, maybe someone else has had similar situations as you have, but in the end, really and truly, we are all alone.

Sometimes I wish I could just sit down with someone in a quiet and lonely corner, and tell them my life story. If only we could sit there for hours and I could tell the story of my parents, and how they grew up and moved to America, and then how I was born. To truly understand someone, you have to start before Day 1 of their life. You have to start at Day -1000, because there was a chain of events leading up to their birth that influenced their life, no doubt. Life isn’t just one microsecond after another; rather, it is a collection of events that influence each other in ways that no one is able to predict or comprehend.

I’d start with the story of my parents, and then talk about my childhood and what kind of environment I grew up. I can’t afford to skip over whole YEARS of my life like Charlotte Bronte did in Jane Eyre, because each seemingly insignificant moment has led up to today. Rather, I’d have to go into extreme detail about the time I was in pre-school and “accidentally” keyed my mom’s car by etching my name into the side, spelling it incorrectly. Id’ have to explain as well as I can how I’ve often thought back to that day and felt guilty. I’d tell everything there is to tell a person in the timespan of an afternoon and still, I would not be done. I’d still have to expound on my political views and my taste in music, and still, I wouldn’t be halfway there.

After an afternoon passes, I doubt this person would even have a clue what kind of person I really am.

No one knows what goes through our heads. You can use every word in the English dictionary to try to describe what you’re feeling, but ultimately you are the only one who can experience exactly what you are feeling. Everything, whenever we attempt to communicate with others, is misperceived and wrongly interpreted. Each person is his or her own self, and when we try to express our feelings, there will always be crucial details omitted for the sake of not embarrassing oneself, etc.

It’s a sad feeling, no? Realizing that no one around you understands what you’re going through, not even your twin sister, or your closest friend. We are born into this world with our mind alone, and that’s how we leave it.

This sort of miscommunication is the cause of many conflicts. Making a choice that you feel in your gut is the right choice might not seem like the best choice for someone else, and that sort of disagreement sparks all sorts of problems. When someone that you thought understood and agreed with you completely takes a separate path, you feel betrayal and confusion. You’re upset because they ended up deciding something different, deviating from your usual mutual agreement.

But I have a kindred spirit!, you say. Maybe it seems like it. But ultimately, a conflict will come between the two of your and drive you apart. There are no kindred spirits. There are no soul-mates and no perfect other-halves. But it’s not the end of the world. Humanity has survived without understanding each other; our ability to communicate has skyrocketed since our first days on earth. As long as we are able to get general points across, total communication is not necessary to survive.

6 comments

  1. tfaswift

    What an interesting post. You really are a philosophical and profound young woman. I have to wonder (but you can just leave me wondering if you like!) :-) … what happened to prompt this post?

    And you are absolutely right about how who and what we are didn’t start with our birth or even our conception. There are generations of people who lived their whole lives before we were even an idea in someone’s imagination, and those ancestors have a profound influence on who we are today. A lot of people don’t realise that, but it’s a very important belief in Asian culture.

    A great post. I think some readers may not be sure what to do with your blog because you’re so young but you think like an intellectual adult, and those are rare. Let alone a teenager who thinks like that. But there will be a small handful who get you and appreciate your special qualities. Don’t change! You will be formidable when you are older. ;-)

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    • catdiggedydog

      Thanks tfaswift! That is incredibly awesome to hear. :) YOU ARE THE BEST!
      The way I got the inspiration to write this was actually over the summer at debate camp, when one of my lab leaders was giving us a lecture about Zizek, a philosopher that essentially believed that everyone is alone and no matter how hard one tries to communicate, the information will somehow be skewed. I suppose I believe this to be true, in the way that I speak to others each and everyday. Initially it was sort of saddening but then I realized that everyone has these problems and they are in no means fatal, so I just accepted it. I just can’t believe I never realized it before. Strange, huh?
      What do you think?

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      • tfaswift

        As someone who places such high importance on clear communication, I am inclined to agree. No matter how hard we try to communicate clearly, there is always the risk that others will understand it in a different way from how it was intended based on their own perception of the world and how information is processed and filtered by their mind. Especially since I think it’s only 7%, more or less, of our communication which is words and the remaining 93% is tone of voice and body language! So that leaves room for all kinds of misunderstandings, especially in this technologically advanced era when so many of us communicate in nothing but the written word, i.e. text. I guess an interesting point would be: is communication the only way that we can make a soul-connection with another person, so that we are not alone? Perhaps there is some other way … ? :-)

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        • catdiggedydog

          Eh, I’m not sure. What do you have in mind? When you ask that question, the only thing I can manage to think of is like, singing to someone, or maybe drawing something? Giving gifts? Cooking food? A soul-connection. That’s interesting terminology right there. I suppose a very general answer to your question would just be using the action that you take, not the things that you say. :) Food for thought, right?

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          • tfaswift

            Food for thought indeed … I’m trying to think of ways of not feeling (or not being) alone without needing communication (or at least “two-way” communication). Off the top of my head, a pregnant mother? She cannot possibly feel alone … And for people who love animals, then animals provide wonderful companionship without words. And of course, people of faith who believe in God. Regardless of whether he exists or not, their faith alone prevents them from ever feeling completely alone. So there are probably ways around it, depending on one’s beliefs, etc. It’s the kind of puzzle that l tend to enjoy! Thanks for raising such an interesting topic! You have made me think! :-)

            Like

  2. Pingback: Alone in the End | Cheri Speak

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