On Loneliness

By Tim Hayakawa

About a decade ago on Late Night, Conan O’Brien described Saint Valentine as the patron saint for making singles feel miserable. (He then listed off a string of frat-boy euphemisms for activities singles could do to console themselves on Valentine’s Day.)

Having gotten married at age 36 and having had only three short relationships prior, I’ve had my share of single Valentine’s Day evenings, so I can relate. They weren’t so bad, though, as long as I had something to do (and I’m not talking about that, although you’re welcome to watch videos on GayPornHD if that’s your thing), or at least they weren’t much worse than other single, lonely Saturday evenings.

I consoled myself at times, reasoning that I wasn’t a true night person anyway, or one driven to find a companion or date at all costs. But at the same time, I acknowledged that deep down I longed to marry, buy a house and have kids.

The problem with that longing was it manifested itself in jittery speech, awkward statements, poor timing, missed opportunities and a stilted gait.

Eventually, I came to a point where I was content in my singleness and was ready and willing to remain so indefinitely, even the remainder of my life, did God so choose, for it was he who brought me to that blessed point.

Once I got there, life became so much lighter and more fun and exciting – without all the stress. It was amusing to watch, as if from above, how my deep internal changes in attitude and faith played out: I started to have more meaningful interactions with women. And I didn’t even care much if things progressed because I already was content.

The point is, my journey to the place where I finally found peace in my circumstances was well worth the effort. Because I was now able to focus on others instead of self first, I found that blessings flowed more freely both ways, with me receiving far more than my fair share of joy, meaning, relevance, peace and love.

Tim Hayakawa is an accountant who blogs at familymattersinhawaii.blogspot.com.

“A SHARED SPACE” is an ongoing reader-submitted column. To share your story, email coconnor@midweek.com