Lonely Vs Alone:
Is there a difference in being lonely and alone?
In my experience, yes. Yes, there is. And it’s one heck of a difference.
Being alone is like finding a cute dress that could potentially not match with a new shoe you have at home, but wearing them anyway because the dress is cute AF.
Being lonely is purposely buying an ill fitting, awfully patterned dress to go with that shoe you have which you never should’ve bought in the first place.
Being alone is like the feeling of being in a roomful of people that know each other, you being the only stranger but partaking in the fun like you belong.
Being lonely, is that belittled feeling, that sense of insecurity that creeps in when you realise everyone’s acquainted with each other and feeling injured and a misfit so not bothering to mingle.
There’s so much difference, in my experience, that I need to tell you not to fear being alone.
Alone is my natural state of being. I don’t regret it.
Alone is a weird comfort- there’s nothing stopping you from interaction, it’s just as matter of choice that you refrain.
Alone is powerful. It’s a perch wherein you can observe freely, without external biases. Drama becomes deeply entertaining when you’re alone.
Alone is the tool I use to get away with all my weirdness, where I don’t have to think of who’s watching and who thinks what of me.
Alone, to me, is my personal saviour from the infinite chatter that the world is so good at producing but not escaping.
If being alone, however, leads to the hellhole called loneliness, then please up and run, ’cause you don’t want nothing to do with loneliness.
Loneliness is an embittering feeling.
It’s second to none at making you feeling crap about yourself.
It’s a one stop shop to zero self esteem and awkwardness in social situations and eventually losing your confidence and leading to a self effacing, vicious thought cycle rife with pettiness, jealousy.
Doesn’t sound good, does it?
Spoiler alert- it isn’t.
Alone, could be, I believe a choice for many who want respite from the world, but confusing it with loneliness, is the problem in most cases.
How did I stumble onto this path breaking difference?
I could tell you it’s my own invention but Marina Keegan’s The Opposite Of Loneliness was the one to actually introduce this concept to me.
My version goes like this: It’s waking up everyday to many familiar, friendly faces, sharing corridors, food, laughter and complaints, deadlines, schedules, inside information and sometimes hugs and tears. There’s just so many new people in my life, all of us locked up together every night, all by chance, living the same life with different experiences, and despite all the comfort there is in this community sort of life, there’s none I can confess to truly knowing. And that’s okay, because such is the nature of human existence.
“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
This life is the true definition of being alone in my experience- you’re never really lonely but you’re quiet to receive the moments of togetherness and conversation. And this, in my meagre words is how I could describe my new life, without much skill and with no match to Marina’s, in The Opposite Of Loneliness.
The reason why I bring up this book is because it is easy to read (people should read more) and because it helped me a great deal in my period of loneliness and lost identity.
Not only was it easy to read, it was beautifully thought out, expressive as can be expected from a Yale scholar and it revealed to me that I was not alone in being alone in this world. And that being alone wasn’t such a lonely experience after all, because we’re all pretty much alone all our lives, right? (However much we like to pretend that’s not true.)
And that filled me with an immense sense of peace, without which I cannot begin to think how my life would’ve turned out.
On a less nostalgic note and tying in with how I’m alone all the time, there’s a part of me that feels the need to express and express completely my thoughts on my experiences in life.
I believe there’s an inherent, insistent need for people to express themselves and how they do so could probably define a lot about their lives.
I like putting down my thoughts, so I invite you, if you ever reach this point in my musings, to experience my life with me, on this platform.
PS: It occurs to me that being alone is that which let’s me observe freely and express even more freely, but what do I choose to do with these observations?
Make more chatter in the world, of course. Apologies.