But I also put my finger on where the loneliness is coming from (or most of it). First I thought it was missing my family back home. Then I thought it was my job. Then I thought it was how I relate to my housemates. For a while in there I thought my Grandma and aunt were right, that I needed a man.
Turns out I was closest with the first one. Only it's not that I just miss my family at home. It's that I miss the families I built in college - my theater troupe. The Methodists. I am not Methodist, nor am I a theater major, but that hasn't stopped me from basking in and soaking up strength from their various flavors of fun and grace. And yes, I will still get to see them. I could probably see them a little more, if I made the effort. But it is also time for those families to shift as we grow out of who we were in college and away from the circumstances that made us fit for together for a few years.
I am struggling to grow into my life as an adult, into my career, into the reality that I am finally capable of fulfilling my responsibilities. That's normal and not particularly interesting. But I feel like I'm doing that without any of my families.
In some sense, I'm already building one with my housemates. There's a particularly vicious game of hide the rubber ducky being played in the bathroom, and we leave notes for each other on the front door, wishing each other luck on important days. I am so, so lucky. But I don't see any of my extended families any more - biological, theatrical, religious - and that leaves far too much space. What am I supposed to do without a horde of people to look up to and down on and lean on and laugh with?
I admit, I judge the few of my friends who always need to be in a relationship. But it turns out, I always need to be part of a family. And not just a small one. I need enough people to populate a novella. I need enough people to populate a life.
And if we're going by numbers, that's a hell of a lot more needy than needing a single someone to have your back.
For the first time, I don't know how to fill that need.