By Samantha McKenzie
“Loneliness is my least favorite thing about life. The thing that I’m most worried about is just being alone without anybody to care for or someone who will care for me.” Anne Hathaway
Loneliness. Isolation. Detachment. Emptiness. These are the empty spaces in our lives that we don’t like to talk about. Mostly because it’s too painful, but often it’s just because they mask themselves as blind spots. So many of us appear busy, racing through life, tackling the longest of to-do-lists (at lightning speed!), impressing onlookers…only to one day look up and realize that we are still unfulfilled.
Inside of us all lies a deep desire to be happy, to be accomplished, to be satisfied with our journey. While our levels of happiness certainly vary from person to person, the need is still the same. No matter what it is you want to do or become, it all starts with asking yourself the hard questions and then finding the most practical ways to fill in the blank spaces.
Empty spaces should not be confused with solitude nor that much needed time to retreat and enjoy quietness. The spaces I am referring to are the things you’ve always wanted to be a part of. It’s those things that you want to see on your epithet or the things that will bring you the ultimate gratification.
What are your empty spaces? Maybe you’ve been meaning to start a program to feed the homeless in your community. Is it going back to school? Getting your pilot’s license? Learning how to cook? Publishing your memoir? Finding your birth mother? Adopting? Skydiving? Learning a second language? Finding your life partner?
Filling up your empty spaces starts with being honest…with yourself. Then you’ll need to take the steps to get there. It will take focus and sacrifice. You’ll have to learn how to say no to others, so you can finally say yes to yourself. It will feel weird at first, but for many of us, it will be the first time (in a long time) that you included “you” in your life. This task can’t be about making everyone else happy either (Sorry kiddos, honey, mom and dad!)
Fill up your spaces with new things, amazing people, mind-blowing stories, and in-person adventures. This year, make emptiness a thing of the past.