“A distinction has been made between solitude and loneliness. In this sense, these two words refer, respectively, to the joy and the pain of being alone.” Everyone will inevitably be lonely at some point in their lives. But experiencing solitude happens by choice. A choice I strongly advise although I know most don’t choose.
I strongly believe that you cannot find who you are if you are always with someone else. It doesn’t have to be romantically, just emotionally at all. Maybe it’s your boyfriend or best friend or twin. Regardless, most people tend to keep a crutch. Sometimes, this crutch is even used as a mask to hide themselves from who they really are. You will never figure out who you are as a singular being if you are never just alone.
It is important to be introspective for a period of your life. How will you ever know what you want in a relationship if you never stop to ask yourself those questions? If you really want to find someone to spend the rest of your life with then you need to have your own idea of what you want the rest of your life to look like. Having that knowledge is the only way to find someone who wants the same things. The lifelong mystery for men is trying to figure out what women want. SPOILER ALERT: most women don’t even know the answer to that one. They never took the time to think about their life as a solo event. Ask most girls my age about their 10-year plan and they have a man in it. Not necessarily one specific male but majority of their life plan revolves around the idea that a nice boy will love them. So, what do these women do if they can’t find Prince Charming? Did anyone ever think to have a Plan B? Well here’s a wild thought, if you make yourself the main character of Plan A then Plan B is unnecessary.
The worst feeling in the world is waking up one morning not knowing who you are. As long as you have always saw yourself as someone’s girlfriend, someone’s daughter, someone’s best friend, then you have never seen yourself as just YOU. I never saw myself for me until I went away to college and I had no one there. Prior to that I was always “someone’s best friend”. We were seen as one unit my whole life and I loved that. It frightened me to be my own person so I quickly became “someone’s girlfriend” to give myself an identity. But at some point, it hit me that I don’t want a label. I want my identity to just be me. That’s where the challenge began because I didn’t know who “me” was supposed to be all alone. There was only one way to figure it out and I will tell you one thing, I wasn’t lonely. I was curious, scared, intrigued, hesitant, but not lonely.
Being alone I learned what music I liked to listen to without someone telling me I would love the song. I learned the style I like to wear without needing someone’s opinion on if it was right for me. I learned what I wanted, not in a man but in life. In this solitude, I found joy. I learned what I needed to change about myself based on who I aspired to be.
So, for the people who say things like “I don’t know who I would be without you”, it’s true. When you have never been without someone you truly do not know who you are with them gone. It doesn’t have to be sad because you don’t have to lose that person to figure it out. Remove yourself. Go out in the world and be alone. When you find yourself you can go back.
The reality is this, at some point in life you will be left alone and it won’t be by choice. If you never learned how to be happy on your own, then you may not survive the loneliness. But knowing that it is possible to be happy on your own is half the battle.