Recently I was talking with a friend and the conversation topic was about what it's like to be alone. While we love our personal space, where is the line between being alone and feeling lonely? Being an only child with a single working mother, I'm no stranger no solitude. I remember playing with my barbies by myself, doing homework by myself, even sometimes trying to navigate my emotions by myself.
I found for most of my younger life I sought out connections with people to avoid being home alone. In this, I've found some of the best people that I still cherish to this day. Although I was surrounding myself with people that brought me light, I still felt hollow. I found myself scribbling melancholy thoughts in my journal and wondering why I still felt lonely. I had a great group of friends that kept me going through the day but then my brain had a chance to stay still, I felt that heavy blanket of fear of being by myself. Something in me realized that I was chasing activity because I had grown hatred for physically being alone. The physicality of being alone had never really been happy experience for me. I needed to figure out how to enjoy being by myself.
Loneliness is almost as if you're screaming in a crowded arena and no one can hear you. There is a cliche saying that you can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. Cliche or not, its the truth. I have been surrounded by the people I love the most and still have felt like none of them can see me. I felt that no one knew me, heard me, or even felt my presence. No matter what I did I couldn't escape being alone, so I decided to change my approach. I started to fill the alone time with activities that brought me joy. I read books with no distractions, worked on my craft, or just watched my favorite movies. I started to like being by myself and felt more grounded in my own body. In this new era of alone time, I discovered my likes and dislikes. I was figuring out who I was and what made me feel whole. This time was becoming a safe space that I could return to when I needed to center my self. With all this self-discovery, I learned how to be a better friend and daughter.
Don't be afraid of being alone, embrace yourself. Try to find ways to enjoy yourself without the presence of others. Others can bring so much joy to our lives but when the dust settles, it's so important to find peace in ourselves. Learning to enjoy myself taught me that being alone doesn’t make you lonely, it just gives you an opportunity to do things that you like to do without any compromise from others. So watch your favorite movie for the sixty-third time, go to your favorite store and buy that pair of pants that make your ass look good, and make sure you take time becoming your own best friend.