About a month ago, I found myself in an extreme bout of loneliness. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of due to the fact that I felt guilty asking people to spend time with me. Because of this, I found myself going on a lot of late night walks to escape the four cement walls of my dorm room.
Being as obsessed with the sky as I am, it became a steady routine that I would find myself sitting on a swing at 11 p.m. in Hasbrouck Park, a place I was constantly compelled to due to the visibility it provided of the night sky. With limited street lighting, it offered me a whole lot of comfort under the natural glow.
One particular night, I found myself on those exact swings, wishing I had somebody to talk to or even just sit next to. I craved every and any form of comfort I could receive. After calling a few friends to no avail, I became frustrated and the tears began to come. I grew angry at myself for not being able to cope with being alone.
Dejected, cold and losing all feeling in my butt and toes, I got off the swing that was too small and decided it was time to go back to my room and sleep.
What happened next may seem insignificant but I still feel pretty floored; I saw a shooting star, my first ever. And of course, because I am an overtly emotional human, I started crying again except this time the tears felt lighter and I felt special. Suddenly, my loneliness wasn’t the absence of another person but the room for introspective thought.
At 19 years old, there isn’t much I can firmly say I believe in. One thing I put my faith in, however, is the universe. I believe wholeheartedly that bad times are sent our way to sweeten the good times, and if we couldn’t handle what was being served in our direction, it wouldn’t happen.
It’s a lot to decide after seeing some hot air shoot across the sky, light years away, but in that infinitesimal moment, the shooting star was the only way I knew that the next day would be better. Talking about this experience out loud would most likely cause my cheeks to flame up, but I think it’s okay to cling on to silliness in our times of darkness.
In times of emotional adversity, it’s more than acceptable to find your shooting star.
What I take from this two-second moment of my life is that life is difficult; we will inevitably find ourselves struggling to feel whole but there will always come a small miracle—two seconds to pull you out of whatever you’re allowing to weigh you down, as long as you keep yourself open to the possibility of finding it.
If I hadn’t been actively pursuing a way to cope with the sadness I was feeling, I wouldn’t have experienced that moment. The funny thing? In retrospect I’m glad I was alone that night. It was just me, the stars and a whole lot of existential analysis. There wasn’t room for somebody else. Sometimes we don’t need another’s company, we just need to learn how to be comfortable with our own.