Being alone and being lonely are two different concepts. Sometimes they complement each other and go hand in hand, but in other circumstances they are recognised as individual elements. You can feel alone which usually results in loneliness, or you can choose to be alone but feel completely supported at the same time.
Quite often, and without thinking about it, I choose to be alone, and there is literally nothing wrong with that, despite what other people might say. It’s not that I dislike being around others; I love socialising with the right people at the right time, but I also like doing my own thing. I’m naturally an introvert.
There has been quite a few instances where people have ‘called me out’ for my independence and it’s rarely in a malicious or offensive way. I can remember this one specific time so clearly where a coworker of mine said to me “I can’t be alone like you can be Racquel”. It really got me thinking, so much so that it stuck with me and here I am three months later writing about it.
So, how have I mastered the art of feeling confident in being alone?
The first thought that comes to mind is it has always been like this. It has always been just me, I’ve never had another half. I’ve never had a lifelong best friend, and I’m okay with that; as I’ve mentioned before, I was always a floater, friends with all. As for relationships, they have never been the centre of my attention; I always had school take priority and therefore I’m a single pringle. Again, I’m okay with that. The fact that I’ve always had to emotionally support myself made me stronger within my independence, and as I’ve grown, my independence has grown with me.
For example, I’ve spent most of 2017 alone by choice. I travelled the UK and Europe alone for two months, I flew down to and spent a weekend in Sydney alone, I flew down to Melbourne alone, I go on day trips alone, I see movies alone, and last week I booked one ticket to see a theatre show in 2018 alone.
It’s not always 100% confidence within your independence though. I’ve noticed that if you’re like me- someone who revels in doing her own thing- you need to be sure that you don’t cross the line where you get too good at being alone. I’ve been starting to get too good at being alone and I’ve found that it ends in deterioration of relationships with friends and family, and unconsciously pushing people away. This is something that I’m working on.
Knowing how to be alone and being okay with being alone is such an important life lesson because it gives you the strength to stand on your own two feet; which is so very admirable. Just be sure not to cross that line.