In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cut Off.”
Today The Daily Post asks us “When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?”
Now, if you read this blog regularly you’ll know that writing isn’t my day job (though I wish it could be). No, for actual finances I work as an industrial instrumentation technician on the Alberta oil sands. This kind of job is a “fly-in, fly-out” situation, which basically means that I fly across the country (approximately 3000 miles from home), work 12-hour days for 14 days straight while living in a work camp, and then fly home for my days off (which, currently, is 14 days, but is really only 12 days because of the time lost to travel, and can be as little as 5 days depending on the kind of job you end up with).
As you can imagine, this kind of set-up is not always the greatest emotionally. For 16 days out of every 28 (remember, the days of travel cut away from my time off), I’m 3000 miles away from my husband and daughter. I’ve never been bothered by it as much as some people, but for even the toughest person those 16 days can be an emotional roller-coaster ride sometimes, and of course that involves loneliness. At my job I’m surrounded by people for 12-hours a day (15ish-hours if you take into consideration the time spent on buses and puttering around the camp for food), but none of them are the people I want to be around.
So the last time that I felt “really, truly lonely”? It was definitely this past Valentine’s Day. I don’t go in for Valentine’s Day so much, but this one was particularly lonely for a couple of reasons. For one thing, though I couldn’t care less about things like flowers and little stuffed animals holding plush hearts, it’s a bit disappointing to see Instagram and Facebook photos of every woman you know getting a pile of gifts for V-Day when you can’t even get a kiss from your loved one because he’s almost the entire width of the country away from you. For another thing, though my daughter is usually super excited to talk to me on Skype each day, V-Day was one of those days when she decides that she’s way more into what she’s playing with at the time and can’t be bothered talking to me.
So to recap, I spent Valentine’s Day working a 12-hour shift, 3000 miles away from home, unable to get so much as a snuggle from my sweetheart, and my daughter chose that day to decide that I wasn’t important enough to have a five-minute conversation with. So yeah. I spent most of that day feeling pretty damn lonely.
What about you? When was the last time that you felt “really, truly lonely”?