Alone – and maybe a little lonely?

The umpteenth rewatch of Burlesque this weekend brought me back around once more to a quote by god-knows-who (it’s been milked so much):
‘I may be alone, but I’m not lonely’.

And never before has it probably felt more true than in this year of corona-maddened 2020. Because this has suddenly become a harsh reality for pretty much the entire worlds population. All the social butterflies. All the crowd-lovers, festivalgoers and party-animals are suddenly returned to the confines of their empty houses. Alone. Not necessarily lonely, but if you’re someone new to being alone – they often do tend to feel the same.

Although, arguably, some people ARE, in fact, very lonely. I myself, sometimes, am as well. The difference between being alone (aka, not being around a physical entity-other-than-yourself) and lonely (aka, (feeling like you’re) existing separately from any and all physical-or-not entities) is intense, no matter how much they may feel alike.

Yet, while one isn’t usually perceived as the end of the world…to a lot of people…the other is. I don’t really mind either, to be honest.

Being lonely in its most basic connotation is supposed to be maddening. Depressing. Enraging. Or just killing. It’s to be avoided or, when felt, to be solved. One should always venture not to be lonely – is what we’re told. It’s ok to be alone, as long as you’re not lonely.

I am of a different persuasion. Sort of. Sometimes.
I like both being alone AND (every now and then) I also like actually feeling lonely. At least – I don’t particularly mind it, if I happen to feel like it. There’s a sharp tang to real loneliness that my dramatic side sort of loves. The strength I pull from that thought of being alone in the world in all ways that matter reminds me that I CAN (and probably should) aspire more for myself. As someone who is notoriously bad at keeping in touch with people – this is an important feeling to get every so often. It’s what sparks me renewing my connections so as to avoid continual loneliness and turning into the hermit I was probably born to be.

But the key to all of my preferred alone AND loneliness is that I NEED for it to be a choice. My choice.
I’ve spent a decade trying to find ways to get out of social obligations like birthdays and parties and most importantly: things like Christmas and Easter dinners and all that religious holiday-y crap that is forced down our throats as a must-do activity. And now that Corona has conveniently thrown a cancellation on any-and-all-of-these accounts: I despise the thought of being lonely because I’m no longer at the wheel of that decision.

I’ve always hated dragging my lazy carcass the 90 minute drive to the grandparents (although I love those golden oldies in all other regards – just the distance is killing) or to the parties of old highschool-friends-who-never-moved (the people are awesome, the drive-and-not-drinking-at-a-party isn’t). I’ve hated dressing up and sitting pretty with fancier food than just ‘hutspot’ and the formal character of a day-at-grannies. And each year I’d hoped to end up single at Christmas so I wouldn’t have to bother with expectations from an inlaw side as well.

When I HAVE to be social – I want to be alone.
And now that I CAN’T be social – all I suddenly find myself wanting is all of these silly traditions that I never felt I could care for.

I think secretly that just makes me a cat. Right? When I’m outside, I want to go back in. And when I’m inside I’m going to meow at the door until you let me out. (At least, that sounds better than: insane).


45 thoughts on “Alone – and maybe a little lonely?

  1. I am often lonely, which is difficult — surrounded as I am by four other people and six cats.

    But I prefer loneliness to small talk. I hate small talk.

    Yes, the weather is nice/terrible. No, I don’t care about team sports. Politics — you really just want me to agree with you. Oh, great… pictures of the kids/dogs/cats/ferrets/pandas (“Pandas? Oh, isn’t it cute?”)

    I guess I like being a hermit and lonely as long as I don’t have to do the small talk schtick.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ambi-Vert That’s me
    Dance Sing With
    Nature Now Allone
    oR A Thousand
    Folks At
    Walmart
    Bliss
    Is only
    A Step
    Within As
    LonG As my
    Wife Takes

    Care

    With

    Joy

    Doing

    All the
    Non-Peter
    Pan Stuff

    Of Life

    Oh Wendy

    How i

    Love my Wendy

    Tinker 🔔 Bells

    Yet Will

    Drive

    Ya

    Nuts

    And

    Ground Ya
    Green
    Wings

    Unless
    Ya
    Fly
    Above
    BeLoW iN Deed 🧚🏾

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love burlesque haha must have seen it at least 10 times… This post was a great one, I love how eloquently you were able to explain not only the differences of aloneness and loneliness but also, how your personal experiences only helped deliver the concept. I feel very similar at times, although the family gatherings for holidays have always been a cause of anxiety for me, even 2020 doesn’t change that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I normally don’t start feeling lonely until I have a need to be social. Otherwise I am perfectly okay with just staying home. Lol In the beginning of this year I wanted to go outside very badly and then when I did. I remembered why that was a mistake. Lol 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definite feline behavior. My black kitty (actually named Zoe, for realz) meows to get on my lap when there’s a laptop on it. I move the laptop. She jumps on, gives me another irritated meow, and immediately jumps back off. Laptop goes back on. She comes back into the room. And so on, and so on, ad infinitum.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Things are getting worse here in terms of upcoming lockdown orders, and I kind of had a breakdown yesterday. I’ve been miserable for the last two years, I’ve lost almost everything that makes life bearable, and now they’re coming for what little I have left… I’m sorry for being overdramatic and negative but that is how things have felt for quite some time now.

        Like

  6. It made me think of this quote from Sartre:
    “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”

    But I prefer this one from Simone de Beauvoir
    “One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, and compassion”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting post here Friend. I like how you mention that you miss the “silly”things that you used to not like. I think that bit of information is interesting. You see, life is full of interesting twist and turns and you never know what you would end up missing, and wishing that you had, so it is best to appreciate every moment in life.

    As far as loneliness and being alone goes, the truth is, we are never alone. Our most loyal friend and most faithful lover, who is God, is always with us. God is silently with us all the time. Maybe it is time to connect with him. Connecting with God is more than just a connection, it is a beautiful relationship that can bring a lot of understanding, blessings and true joy. A lot of people do not tap the untapped resource called God, we all need to connect with him more. There is no one who loves us the way that God does. Begin today with some quiet time where you pray to God and tell him how you feel. Read the Bible to learn more about the character of God and keep working on your relationship with him.

    God says in Isaiah 41:10
    Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    The Bible says in 1 Samuel 12:22
    For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.

    If you or anyone interested wants more information on how to connect with God, I have a post on it here:

    https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/how-to-build-a-relationship-with-god/ 

    You can check out the blog post above. If the information is too overwhelming for you, then you can start slow and work your way up gradually. If you want to stay updated and you want more posts from me, you can follow my blog. I post about God, faith and Christian Spirituality.If you ever need to talk, then send me a message on the “Contact” section of my page.

    May God’s blessing be with you, Amen. 🙂

    Like

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