In the wee morning hours, with nothing better to do, I started re-reading a number of my older posts. It’s funny how I am pretty much a broken record.

It’s not so much that I haven’t had anythingnew to say. My observations on relationships and such are always growing and developing with new information. But reading deeper, I see that the concerns I had two years ago, some even three years ago, are still concerns I have today. I’m singing the same song. It shows me that no progress has been made. In fact, some feelings are even more compounded. This is quite telling: many of the issues I find problematic have yet to be resolved. What this means for myself is unclear. Is it a lack of growth that perpetuates what I daresay is my misery? Or is it just that I am an uncompromising, incorruptible man who refuses to bend to the ways of society?

Over these past few years, my stances on important things like dating, relationships, morality, and politics have been clarified and solidified. If anything, I have become even less flexible and more entrenched in my ways. Who I am has become well-defined. Where I once had murkiness, focus and clarity has taken its place.Or so I think and would like to believe. I herald the strong-spirited as people of honor. I live by a code, one of my own making, and abide by it without fail. The strength I need to live by my conduct is not insignificant. Certainly, during times at which my spirit, strength, and resolve waver under the pressures and demands of a society I view as broken, that murkiness returns. In my loneliness, I imagine that I could change in so many ways should I wish to. I could be more accommodating of the ways and whimsy of modern society, from the drugs and alcohol and casual sex to the indifferent lack of respect and loyalty common to today’s culture. The man I am today was willed into existence through my strength and discipline. I had a vision for the man I wanted to become: a man of integrity, respect, and humility; a reliable man of industry, an insightful man of creativity; a man of knowledge and understanding, one who owns each and every single one of his thoughts. And for the most part, that is who I have become, who I have molded and crafted myself into. But now, having come to realize that my desires in the external world are unlikely to be met, I come to question the practicality of my idealism. Being the man I envisioned carries a heavy price. Carrying myself the way I do through this world exacts an immense toll on my psyche. My emotional and spiritual happiness are inevitably difficult to maintain.

It is of little comfort that there are others – as few they are – who feel the same way I do. Companionship is in rare supply. In my own life, it has been practically non-existent. While I have met sympathetic souls, sympathy is never quite the same as empathy. And then even empathy is not quite the same as true understanding. I feel tempted to write of the hollow echoes of loneliness, the tiresome feeling one gets from searching endlessly for something that cannot be found. But perhaps that is best kept in the private pages of a handwritten journal.

A priest is a man of God, a man who accepts God’s love in the place of the love of a woman. He lives his life with no expectation of love or romance from anybody but the good Lord above. In times of spiritual need, he looks to God for comfort. In times of loneliness, he has something, someone, to turn to. I myself have nothing – nobody – to turn to. In dark times, I am left to my own devices, devices which have been worn down through constant use. God provides hope to those who need it. He shines a bright light onto His children’s paths, lighting the way ahead. My path is shrouded in uncertainty and darkness, my future visible only as murky wisps of emptiness.

I am still young, as I’ve said three years ago. But in a short six years, I will have approached the hallmark of my thirtieth year of existence on this world, nearly all of it alone and lonely. The same way the first three chapters of my novel set the trajectory of the protagonist’s journey, perhaps the beginning of my life defines the trajectory of the rest of it.

I have never been one to imbibe in alcohol or drugs. I find it beneath me. I always imagined myself as tough enough to avoid indulging in such cheap tricks of the mind. I have always prided myself on grounding myself in the reality of things despite my idealism and romanticism. But perhaps the dualism of such an existence is beginning to reveal itself as an unending task of far greater proportions than I could have first imagined. Perhaps, in the light of my realization that things will not be alright, I should start acquiring a taste for alcohol. After all, I have always thought that those drinks looked quite refreshing and appealing. Here’s to flirting with the idea of becoming a drinker. Besides, isn’t there some sort of cliche about writer’s being alcoholics?