Experience Levels Treasure World

The Experience of Stepping Into a New World of New Values Alone

We see this especially in the midst or aftermath of transitional and transformational life events, when greater-than-usual shifts occur. As the result of going through such experiences, we often develop new values, core needs and centrally motivating desires, losing other values, needs and desires in the process. In other words, after undergoing a particularly transformative experience, we become different people in key respects than we were before. If after such a personal transformation, our friends are unable to meet our newly developed core needs or recognise and affirm our new values and central desires – perhaps in large part because they cannot, because they do not (yet) recognise or understand who we have become – we will suffer loneliness.

This is what happened to me after Italy. By the time I got back, I had developed new core needs – as one example, the need for a certain level and kind of intellectual engagement – which were unmet when I returned home. What’s more, I did not think it particularly fair to expect my friends to meet these needs. After all, they did not possess the conceptual frameworks for discussing Russian absurdism or 13th-century Italian love sonnets; these just weren’t things they had spent time thinking about. And I didn’t blame them; expecting them to develop or care about developing such a conceptual framework seemed to me ridiculous. Even so, without a shared framework, I felt unable to meet my need for intellectual engagement and communicate to my friends the fullness of my inner life, which was overtaken by quite specific aesthetic values, values that shaped how I saw the world. As a result, I felt lonely.

Kaitlyn Creasy, Loved, Yet Lonely

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