Through My Spectacles: Mrs. Lonely

There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely…. A lot of people seem to forget that — especially when they discover you’re single. They give you this look: where their head tilts to the side, their eyes droop and their lips pout out. Making it perfectly clear that they’re thinking, “You poor thing.” As if you need a significant other to confirm your happiness, because you can’t just be content all on your own.

If there’s one thing I’ve never felt like I needed, it was someone else.  

There has always been this weird stigma around the idea of being alone. People are so afraid they’ll be judged if they do anything by themselves. Just look around campus, and you’ll see hundreds of insecure people [male and female] who [for some reason] can’t seem to eat by themselves, or study in the library by themselves, let alone go to the bathroom by themselves.

Since when did it become mandatory to have others surrounding us at all times?

I relish the moments I spend by myself. When I can eat breakfast at the café and just be left to my thoughts before the day turns them into migraines; or when my house is still, and I can drink in the silence while reading a good book on the couch.

I thank my family for teaching me that the greatest gift I can have — besides my intelligence and education — is my independence. To know that there is nothing more freeing than not having to rely on someone for my source of happiness, love or income.

I mean, tell me, what do I really need someone else for? To what, supply me with comfort? Well, Nutella, Netflix and my body pillow have yet to let me down. Or what about to talk to? It’s a good thing there’s something called family…oh, and friends. But what about the most important thing: to love and be loved by? I would rather learn how to fully love myself than find someone to do that for me.  

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I want to be alone for the rest of my life. In fact, some of my favorite memories are the ones I created with someone else. But the main reason I was so happy during those times wasn’t necessarily because I had someone…it was because I knew that if/when it ended, I’d be fine: just me, myself and I.

We spend so much time searching for someone, sometimes anyone, to give us things [validation, peace, money, etc.] we can provide for ourselves — if we just tried. And by always looking for sources outside of ourselves, we never really learn what it means to be truly comfortable alone, to value ourselves and who we are.  

The other day while I was walking to my car, I had this wonderful feeling wash over me…. [I wasn’t thinking about how I wished I had more money in my bank account, or how I would love to be skinnier and prettier, or that it would be nice to have a boyfriend.] In that moment, for whatever reason, I was just really really happy to be me.

And that is a feeling everyone should get to experience, alone.