I am used to being alone (but by all means not lonely). In high school I had a very small group of friends, many of whom were not more than acquaintances with one another. This tended to create an issue for me, as I tended to only hang out with one or two people at a time. However, even though I could count the number of close friends on my two hands (and maybe one foot), I felt as though I had enough. I didn’t believe that I was popular by any means, but I do believe that the few I did consider friends still remain so to this day. (It is my belief that it is better to have a few close friends than many acquaintances.)
Left over from those two hands and one foot of friends from high school, I have four people very important people still in my life, all of whom would be available at the drop of a hat if needed. I may not talk to them every day, nor do I even see some of them more than twice a year, but these are the types of friends that I would like to keep in my life as long as I can. (Plus it gives me an added bonus – weekend destinations!) These people are the ones who know me inside and out, call me by nicknames, and make fun of me for my loudmouth and picky eating habits. These four people, in the long run of life, will be the ones whom I can run (or saunter) to when times get tough.
Outside of the High School Four, there are several others that I am not only thankful have entered my life but have also continued to be a mainstay. These individuals, however they entered, have had an ongoing role in my short-termed existence. Of these, I can think of one specifically who has altered my life plan more than any other. Because of meeting her, I was able to meet the boy I currently love (and fortunately am still with).
Remember how I mentioned that being alone does not necessarily equate to being lonely (hence the name of this blog and this initial article)? Well, because of a particular friendship, I was able to meet someone very special (the boy in the aforementioned paragraph). We have been together five years now, and even though we live together, I still don’t see him often. Tonight (a Friday night nonetheless) he is in a different city, watching some show with friends. Where am I? I am currently in the apartment we share, two hours away, awaiting my next day to work (which, by the way, is not for another seventeen hours). I am stuck (used loosely) in my one bedroom apartment while snow blow outside by myself, alone.Am I lonely? Relatively, it seems so tonight. Am I able to be by myself without being lonely? Most often yes. I can usually muster up something to do. Between cleaning after a boy who pees standing up and leaves the toilet seat up or learning how to cook (or bake or sauté or whatever term suits you), I have found things to do.
Being alone sucks; I can vouch for that. Being lonely, however, sucks even worse. I am very fortunate to have a boyfriend and friends that I can count on if needed. If that means spending a Friday night alone making spaghetti sauce, chicken with potatoes and green beans, raspberry muffins, and drinking wine while listening to 90s pop music, then so be it. I would rather dance in my kitchen in my underwear with my hair in a bun than be lonely. Simply put, being lonely sucks.
So my point of this long-written initial entry? I hope to inspire others not to think of themselves as lonely but rather, as alone. Being new in a job, a city, or a country can lead one to thoughts of loneliness. After the initial excitement and shock wears off of the move, loneliness can begin to set in. Evenings and weekends alone drag on and run together as work sometimes becomes the central point of existence. However, as I have now mentioned several times, being alone does not have to necessarily equal loneliness.
After almost a year and a half in a new job in a new city, I can say that I am alone quite often. I still maintain contact with those who are important to me, but I have been faced with a new set of rules that govern who I am. Through this, and later entries, I hope that someone stumbles across what I have written and can connect with what I believe. (If you forget what I believe, refer to the title of the entry.)