Curiosity takes me to loneliness versus being alone
My partner has been away for five weeks and I have to wait another two before he gets home. I miss him. Being alone more got me thinking about whether I am lonely and what the difference is.
Both can have a somewhat negative connotation – hermit, loner, sad. Loneliness can also be a good impetus for songwriting; consider Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles, or Lonely Day by System Of A Down.
I could convey a feeling of loneliness by telling you that I am sitting by myself writing this, wearing a ratty pair of old brown slippers, drinking tea and chowing down on a bowl of Lay’s plain potato chips. My hair is a mess and I haven’t worn make up for a few days because it will just get smudged.
But worry not, I am at the lake and have spent a great few days with my sister, my son and his friend. My step-daughter is back from a few days off and had lots of great stories for us. I’m sitting on the deck looking out at the water, which has surprisingly warmed up in the past two days; strange because it was rainy and cool yesterday. The hummingbirds are flitting between the feeders, the lake is calm and I am nicely tired from a paddleboard and a good swim. My sister is out the front helping me with the overgrown mess of a garden. I will get back out there in a bit once the sun moves further behind the hill.
Do loneliness and being alone always go together? Definitely not. There have been many times when I have been in a room full of people and felt lonely as I wasn’t connected. Have you started a new job or moved to a different city and felt lonely? I think we have all been in that place.
Many of the activities I have done over the last few months have been by myself and I have to admit that I have not felt lonely. There is a certain freedom in choosing to do something spontaneously, and a feeling of satisfaction in accomplishing it alone. Sometimes I wonder if I am not just finding distractions to keep myself busy, but once I get out exploring with my feet and camera, I get immersed in whatever I am doing and love it. Maybe it is because I have never relied on someone else to be happy, only to add to my general sense of well being.
An article from StoryPick on the topic said someone who is comfortable being alone will be so consumed with themselves that they will smile or laugh out loud for no reason. I can’t say I’m there yet with the LOL – still using my inside voice for that.
The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved. ~ Mother Teresa
Based on this, I am very rich indeed, for I feel very loved. Here’s hoping we can all find comfort and peace in spending time alone, and that no one stares too much when I am chuckling to myself (I’ll blame that on the wine!).