One of my favorite movies is Charlie Bartlett.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s about a teenage boy from a rich family who starts attending a public high school after being kicked out of every surrounding private school. He desperately wants to be liked by everyone, but eventually starts to realize there are more important things.
Also, Robert Downey Jr. plays the principal, and I love him.
It’s a movie that is original while tackling hard issues – the line between being a kid and being an adult, drugs, being what others expect you to be, losing people, suicide, etc. It’s filled with important topics that are handled in a refreshing way.
One of those topics is loneliness. Not a stretch for a movie about high school, right? Stereotypically speaking, it seems sort of black and white – either you were popular in high school or a loner.
But we all know the truth, which is that loneliness seldom starts and ends in high school. One of my best friends in middle school and I became really close because while we had other friends and acquaintances, it felt like the only person who could really understand us was each other. In addition, part of the reason why I wasn’t exactly excited about graduating from college and moving back home was because, at the time, I didn’t have any close friends around here, and I imagined that I would be spending a lot of time by myself.
As I’ve said before, there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. I can spend time alone and be very happy, and I can be surrounded by people and feel lonely. However, being alone for extended periods of time (especially when that’s not necessarily what one wants) usually leads to loneliness.
I don’t need to tell you how much it blows to feel lonely. We’ve all been there, which is fairly ironic when you think about it. Over seven billion people on this planet, and at one point or another, all of us have felt like we’re the only one feeling a certain way or going through something.
I’m extremely blessed to have the three best friends that I have. If God had let me create my own best friends, I couldn’t even have made them as wonderful as they actually are. They get upset when I get upset, and they always know how to make me feel better. They listen to me rant and gush. One text or call to any of them will cure any sadness or loneliness I have.
But if I’m being honest, sometimes I’m a little hesitant to pick up the phone or bring up the subject because even though I know they love me and care for me like no one else, I’m afraid they won’t understand what I’m going through. And as it turns out, I’m usually wrong, and they do understand.
God doesn’t want you to be alone. He didn’t want to be alone, so why would He want to put you through it?
I’ve often wondered what it was like for God before He created everything. Even though I don’t know the answer to that question, I do know that eventually, God must have felt lonely as that is why He created mankind. He wanted someone to talk to, someone to spend time with. He didn’t just get bored and decide to start a project. Adam was made so that God would have a companion, and Eve was made so that Adam would have a companion when God wasn’t there. Even from the start, God planned it so that man wouldn’t be alone all the time.
Personally, I think the reason we start feeling lonely is because we focus too much on everyone’s differences instead of everyone’s similarities.
“He won’t understand why I’m always arguing with my dad. He has a great dad.”
“There’s no way she can relate to my insecurities. She’s gorgeous.”
“How could she understand my depression? She’s such a naturally happy person.”
It’s often a lot of assumptions and appearances, which aren’t always accurate. Plus, even if they are true, does that mean they’ve never felt that way or that they don’t feel that same way about someone or something else?
Yes, we all have differences, but we’re not completely different. Instead of viewing our differences as hindrances, we should start seeing them as ways to help us grow. New insights, unbiased opinions, and other sides of the story.
When my dad passed away, I didn’t want the company of someone whose father had also passed away. I wanted the company of my best friends. Did they understand what I was going through? No. Did that matter? No. What mattered is they were there and they cared about me. I didn’t let the fact that our lives were different drive me away from them. I let the love and bond we all shared draw me close to them.
Maybe you don’t have anyone like that. Speaking from experience, I advise you to use this time in your life to draw closer to God. I’ve been through lonely times, and they drove me closer to God because He was the only one I could turn to. I’m a better person because of it. It’s the reason we were created: to be with God and to love and be loved by Him.
There’s a scene in Charlie Bartlett where Charlie visits a friend of his who recently tried to kill himself. Charlie says that he’s missing the big picture, how he could’ve been born as something else on another planet, but he gets to be a human on earth today.
So you’re alive today for a reason. If you’re lonely, I can guarantee you it won’t last forever and that the purpose of it is so that you’ll grow closer to God. It doesn’t mean that your life is a waste or that you’re just biding your time until all of this blows over. It means God is reaching out to you.
God’s arm is outstretched and His hand is open. He’s just waiting for you to take it. But know that when you take it, you’re going to eventually have to drop whatever it is you’re holding onto. It could be a grudge, anger, sentiment, or insecurity. Maybe you can’t drop it right away. Maybe you’re used to the way it feels as you cling to it. That’s okay. If you’re serious about moving on or deepening your relationship with God, you’ll drop it eventually. It may not be easy, but it’ll somehow happen because you’ll realize that God is infinitely better.
By Carrie Prevette