Being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things.
I love being alone and I don’t feel lonely being by myself. I suppose that’s my introverted self at work here – I find it necessary to recharge myself by having some me time. As much as I love my family, it’s just so much more comfortable being by myself sometimes.
It doesn’t matter what I do. I can be home painting my nails or doing the laundry, or I could be sitting in a cafe, curled up with a book. The music could be blasting and I could be singing loudly along or dancing to the music. It’s just me and myself: uncomplicated, non-taxing, honest, comfortable, tranquil. Nobody expects anything of me, I don’t need to fill the air with the sound of my voice.
I breathe. I sing. I read. I close my eyes. I live.
Loneliness is another monster altogether. The heavy feeling that weighs your heart down. The silence that trickles by slowly and painfully.
Of course, one of the greatest things about friendships and marriage is that loneliness doesn’t set in for too long. All you really need is a hug or a warm word and the greyness seems to brighten up considerably. And sometimes, when the hand holding tightly on to yours is from someone unexpected, the pleasure is doubly warm.
And that’s when you realise you can’t be alone for too long.