Pep Talk: Embracing Solitude

I often get asked by some of my friends about why do I like spending time on my own. Particularly after they found out that I just came back from my solo trip, or simply after a sudden and random encounter at a shopping mall. Yes, I do like wandering around a mall on my own; especially when I want to buy something.
"Don't you get lonely?" my lovely, curious friend asked.

The question always makes me smile. Do I get lonely just because I'm my own company?
I want to answer right away, but rather I asked back, "How about you? Do you get lonely when you're on your own?"
"Obviously, isn't it? I must have looked so pathetic and lonely!"

Her answer a bit surprised me.
I know that we're living in the world where other people's opinions about us are far more important than our own selves. I know that we're living in the society filled with labels.
Those who are always surrounded by a lot of people are called cool, whereas the ones who spend time walking around the city or sitting at a corner of a cafe on their own are the loners.

Why is that? How that happened?

What I understand is that human is a social-being.
We're naturally born to help each other, not to bring each other down. We can't live in this world alone, obviously - that's why we make friends, we seek for jobs, we get married - because I believe, humans are destinied to live together.

But, at the same time, it also doesn't mean that you can't enjoy your own company, right?
Practicing solitude is not permanent. Solitary is the thing that only takes a few percent of your entire life.
Why are we so scared of being alone?
Who said that being alone is the same with being lonely?

In fact, you don't have to be alone to feel the loneliness.
Even when you're surrounded with people, I'm certain there were times when your little heart whispered to you, "What are you doing? Who are these people?" and in my opinion, it's actually pretty normal.

We are scared of being alone, because the society perceives it as sad, pathetic and those who enjoys of being on their own are the inferiors.
We're living in labels.

There were also times when I hated to be seen alone. Until last year, I didn't want to be seen wandering around the mall alone, so once I finished my course or my gym classes, I would go back to the car park directly and headed back home. I really didn't want to be called a loner. So, for a few months, that thought - the irrational fear of to be seen alone - was controlling me. It was tiring. Living under the shadow of other people's opinions was tiring.
Until I opened my journal and read through the times I spent when I was in England, it woke me up.

I used to do things on my own back then. I went for grocery shopping alone, I took a walk around the park alone, I went to buy sweaters or coats alone, I went to the cafe and sat by the window while reading a book alone. I've never felt like I was a sad, pathetic person.
I always enjoyed my own company and it indeed, always felt so, so good.
Then, I tried it again here: to embrace solitude.
I run to the nearest jogging track on saturday morning on my own. I join a yoga class. I go to the bookstores, as an exchange of the park. I go to my favorite bakery shop and order a cup of cafe latte while sitting in the corner. I listen to classical music on saturday night at my bedroom. I write down many things on my journal every night.

Until my friend came my way and asked that question, I smiled.
Do I get lonely?
Not anymore. 
Otherwise, when I can write things, when I can think clearly or when I can do things productively; I can do all of that after I spend enough time with myself.
This world moves so fast, most of the time you can't even be in the present.
Being on my own, it's like pulling myself away for a while; just to breath, to stay sane, and simply to be in the present. To remind myself again once more who I really am.
Like I said before, practicing solitude is not permanent. At the end, as a social being you have to meet other people too, to help each other.

Please never let the fear of being alone ever scares you, just because you don't want to be judged or to be called a loner. There will always be judgemental people, it's now up to you if you let them to define your life.

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