You've got heart and you're going your own way

L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N, Noah And The Whale

A playlist for anyone with an aching void. A deep sadness. The feeling that something is missing. A hunger in your bones. An urge to cry for no reason (like breaking down in the middle Berkley’s busiest street) – we all feel loneliness from time to time.

You are everything you want. You are trying your hardest. Stop having and getting, and start being and becoming. You’re going to have to save yourself.

If we are lucky, loneliness will break our heart open. It hurts because it matters. You are changing, and being honest with yourself is too beautiful for words.

Don’t put off dealing with loneliness, make peace with it now. Sit with it and ask what it is trying to teach you. Try not to beat yourself up about it. Be patient, work with what you have and remember that a lot of people never figure out this mess because they’re more scared of facing themselves than they are of the momentary darkness.

Don’t think that people in relationships aren’t lonely too. Some people shrink themselves to fit into a small life with someone else. Patricia Fry talks about how “An intimate relationship does not banish loneliness”. You may know the feeling of laying in bed next to someone and feeling more alone than ever. I have felt lonelier in a room full of people eating pizza and watching trash TV then I have in a cabin in Oregon. And I totally agree that:

Only when we are comfortable with who we are can we truly function independently in a healthy way, can we truly function within a relationship. Two halves do not make a whole when it comes to a healthy relationship: it takes two wholes. – Patricia Fry

In my experience, loss and emptiness and confusion are signs that a big change is around the corner. A new fullness and wisdom come from the harder rather than easier times (and trust me, the true joyous-connection-in-the-flow energy of life is worth hanging around for). When loneliness hits I am trying to make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light in the trees, relearning myself and forgetting the internet. I’m finding things that make alone feel lovely like dreaming up recipes and making them, letting go of plans, smiling at strangers, writing when I don’t want to, herbal tea benders and not missing the sun.

The reasons we can’t sleep at night are usually the same reasons we don’t truly live during the day – Michael Xavier

It can get lonely when you begin to show your real self. You know the thing you are scared of? Once you do it, you will wish you had done it years earlier. Have a willingness to try on true loneliness and befriend yourself.

My friend loneliness and I will do a yoga class, go for a walk or bike ride, find a library, drink a lot of water and tea, listen to music, and read until I feel better. Remember that all effort you are making now will pay off in the end, and don’t miss the big one – choose love not fear.

The best advice I have found on loneliness came at the same time as I rediscovered my love of poetry when I was lent a book in a sharehouse in San Francisco. The words in Love After Love by Derek Walcott felt like electricity in my body, filling me up with literary oxygen. I quietly read his poem and then re-read one particular line again and again –

You will love again the stranger who was your self. – Derek Walcott

I realised – I am the person I have been waiting for. The process of becoming your own best friend will break your heart open more and more every day.  And if you don’t feel like your own best friend just yet – let it be me.  When it feels like you’re lost in the woods and can’t go on, see the companion in loneliness and “Sit. Feast on your life“. I am certain that is the most delicious invitation you will ever receive.

Listen to If It’s A Friend That You Need: A Playlist For The Opposite of Loneliness on Spotify

1. Better Days – Amos Lee
2. Belong – Joshua Radin
3. Honestly – Alex Dezen
4. Parade – The Antler
5. Ring Out – Justin Vernon
6. Painting by Chagall – The Weepies
7. Wonderwall – Ryan Adams
8. Bones – Dustin Tebbutt
9. Let It Be Me – Ray LaMontagne
10. Carry Me Ohio – Sun Kil Moon
11. Where We Gonna Go From Here – Mat Kearney
12. I Almost Do – Taylor Swift
13. Maybe Be Alright – William Fitzsimmons
14. Beyond The Fence
15. Zimbabwe – Bob Marley
16. Sea Of Love – Cat Power
17. No Room In Frame – Death Cab For Cutie
18. Hardliners – Holcombe Waller
19. Heavenly Father – Bon Iver
20. Real Someday – Robby Hecht
21. Dandelion – The Damnwells
22. Ain’t N0 Sunshine – Bill Withers
23. The Long Way Around – Dixie Chicks
24. Wild Flowers – Ryan Adams
25. Some Nights – Fun.
26. Blue In Green – Miles Davis
27. I Was Young When I Left Home – Antony & The Johnsons and Bryce Dessner
28. Long Nights – Eddie Vedder
29. Mansion On The Hill – Bruce Springsteen
30. I Love You But I’m Lost – Sharon Van Etten
31. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. – Noah And The Whale
32. You Ain’t Alone – Alabama Shakes

Photo: Brown Dress With White Dots


  1. Becky says:

    Awesome, thoughtful writing. Love your quotes. Thanks so much!

    1. Andjelka Jankovic says:

      Thanks Becky! That’s very kind and right back at you for your post.

      Love x