She is lonely, because she spends so much of her time working. She wants to put money in her wallet and food on her table. But more than that, she wants to make something of herself. She wants to become a success story. So she puts in the hours, even when it sucks.
She is lonely, because there isn’t enough time in the day to hang out with her friends. Even when she’s included, when someone texts and asks if she wants to have a few drinks, she usually turns them down. She always has something important she needs to take care of. She always has work she needs to finish by tomorrow.
She is lonely, because by the time she gets finished with her work for the week, she is exhausted. She is never in the right state of mind to get dressed up and go out to bars with friends. All she ever wants to do is sleep.
She is lonely, because some of her closest friends are miles away, living out their own dreams in whatever city their passion brought them to. They still keep in touch. They still have a connection that can never be severed. But even so, talking over a screen never feels as fulfilling as when they used to see each other face-to-face.
She is lonely, because she doesn’t have enough time to date. There have been boys that were interested in her, but when she took too long to answer their texts or kept putting off dates, they walked away. And as much as she would love a boyfriend, she’s already married to her career. She’s made a promise to herself to always put work first.
She is lonely, because there are movies she wants to see and vacations she wants to take — but she feels like there’s no one who will want to go with her. And even if she found someone to tag along, does she really have the time to relax? Can she really afford to take off of work for that long? She isn’t sure.
She is lonely, because all of her focus is on her career. Instead of calling up old friends when she actually finds some free time, she finds something productive to do. She works, even when she is off the clock.
She is lonely, because she underestimates how important she is to other people. She doesn’t realize that they actually want her in their lives, because she’s busy thinking about other things. She isn’t seeing what’s right in front of her eyes.
She is lonely, because she hasn’t learned how to strike a balance between her career and her social life yet. But it will happen. Eventually, she’ll be able to spend her days focused on work and her nights focused on friends or family or first dates.
Eventually, she’ll find a way to have everything that she wants — without having to sacrifice her dreams.
Holly Riordan is the author of Lifeless Souls, available here.