As I sit in my apartment, alone, surrounded by my constant thoughts and exquisite fears; I ask myself the scariest, yet most intriguing, question that has ever crossed my mind: are humans ever able to be alone and not feel lonely?
Consider where it all begins, the starting line. The fact that we all start in the womb. Attached, connected, physically and emotionally tied to someone else. A mother, a body, endless company. We all start our journey in someone's course — silently enjoying the comfort, the coziness, the safety. And as we share this one precious body with our mothers, we cannot even fathom, less worry, about what will happen to us when we are no longer sheltered by such physical and emotional connection. From a young age, we seem to never worry about loneliness. We all start deeply linked to someone, and the moment that bond is physically broken, we begin our own journey.
Still, the voyage continues with us; young, vulnerable and extremely dependent, needing assistance and attention at all times — slowly learning the methods, the practices, the habits and the rules of these weird, loud, and ever-changing environments surrounding us. When the time comes, we are able to walk on our own legs, grab whatever we need with our own hands and fight for what we believe in, with our own ideas and words.
Before we realize, we are off to school, to college, to a job. We are in relationships, out of them, in again, off again, always trapped in infinite cycles of love, hate, forgiveness and sorrows. Cycles that sometimes become circles, and some that are broken, replaced by new phases, courses and periods of fresh adventures, feelings,people and experiences. And then, somehow, somewhere, we seem to always find ourselves alone.
It is important though, to acknowledge the stark contrast between “alone” and “lonely”. I’ve come to realize that the more I grow older, the more I find myself alone. Not because I lack friendship or family, but because most times, the healthiest thing to my soul is to be by myself. Like clockwork, I eventually return to the loud, bustling environments and people that fulfill me somehow — with their intense energies and tireless groove — reminding me I hardly have any reason to ever feel lonely. Still, almost constantly, my mind asks for privacy, for silence, and for the treasured moments I can sit in my apartment, alone, surrounded by my constant thoughts and exquisite fears, and reminisce the past or contemplate the future.
To be alone is to generate fresh ideas and encourage yourself to see the world in a new, vital way, without the influence and the opinion of no one else but your consciousness. Loneliness, on the other hand; is realizing this persistent vulnerability, this sensitivity to the world that only some of us can deeply feel. Surround yourself with people, interests and experiences that bring you higher, but always keep in mind that the highest you can get is with your own feet. Drift, allow yourself to wander aimlessly and explore all tangents, and you will never feel lonely again. Being alone and not feeling lonely is an art to be perfected. And just like any kind of art — it requires practice, patience and a lot of self-awareness.