The Best Part Of Being Alone

 Terrence S Jones
Terrence S Jones

There are times when the thing we fear most — more than heights or snakes or even death — is being alone. We think of it more as a concept than as a constantly-fluctuating state of being. “Alone” is something that befalls you, something that follows you around like an ominous storm cloud on the corner of a clear summer sky. It is something you become almost, something that takes you over and makes everything inherently different, inherently less pleasant. We fear it because we’re taught that if we’re alone, it is a symptom of a greater moral failing, something that we could not do or be in our own lives which brought us to the point where no one cares, where no one wants to be around.

We have so much personal value placed in how many people want to be in our lives at any given moment. If someone were to leave you — whether a long-term friend or someone you had planned on marrying — there is a second, more important part of the story which has to do with you not being able to keep them. The implication is always that, if you had your way, they would still be around. The fact that you are now, at this moment, sitting alone in this coffee shop with this book to yourself, means that you were deeply hurt at some point back up the road and have serious regrets about where you’ve arrived. We see someone in the corner of the restaurant having a meal for one, and our first response is always pity. We pity the person they are in this moment at least partially because we pity all the things that must have happened to get them there.

And it’s true that there are going to be many times in life where we end up alone because of outside factors over which we had no control. We are going to find ourselves sitting alone in restaurants, or in our own apartments, fighting back tears because there is no one there to talk to (or, more significantly, the only person we actually want to see won’t come). But this hurt stems from so much more than just the simple act of being in a place by yourself. There are circumstances which must surround one’s aloneness — as with every state of being — to make it more sad. Because being by yourself somewhere can often be a beautiful, wonderful thing. Solitude alone is not enough to be deserving of pity or fear.

Because it’s often in moments of solitude where you realize just how not alone you are. In fact, when you take a moment to be intentionally alone, to absorb everything through the sole filter of your perception, you understand that life is filled with people and things who accompany you. There is a confidence that comes from being alone, a happiness in the more simple pleasures that often go unnoticed when we are distracted by the presence and opinions of others. The crusty bread crackles in your ear when you tear a piece off. The steam from the coffee hits the tip of your nose as you put it to your lips. The small conversations that happen with the man you buy your produce from, or the girl let ahead of you on the subway, all become a kind of warm blanket of confirmation and life. The chatter around you can fill you up with varying degrees of comprehension, tuning in and out when it suits you. You are miles away from alone.

And it is perhaps this that it is most beautiful, most necessary about aloneness. It is realizing that what you’ve always feared, what you’ve always heard such horror stories about, isn’t being alone. It’s not “dying alone,” as if that were even a concrete concept. It’s all of the things that can lead to aloneness, it is the heartbreak whose pain we want to pawn off on the moments we’re sitting by ourselves in front of our stereo listening to the same song over and over again. The pain in loneliness comes from all that surrounds it, not the act itself. And when you spend enough quality time alone, you realize that it is indeed nothing to fear. You realize that you, by yourself, are happy and are confirmed in life and worth by everything around you. And though it will not take the edge off of the painful few moments that lead to us being alone, it is worth reminding ourselves that just because we’re eating alone at a restaurant doesn’t mean we aren’t in wonderful company. TC mark

 

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2013/01/the-best-part-of-being-alone/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life […]

  • http://prachiv.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/the-best-part-of-being-alone-thought-catalog/ The Best Part Of Being Alone – Thought Catalog | prachiv

    […] The Best Part Of Being Alone | Thought Catalog. […]

  • http://victoriahii.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/being-alone/ Being alone « Victoriahii's Blog

    […] repost from thought catalogue […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Lairyfights&loonmight.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Harbour Lights and commented:
    “There is a confidence that comes from being alone, a happiness in the more simple pleasures that often go unnoticed when we are distracted by the presence and opinions of others.”

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Sheepishness and Shenanigans .

  • http://saysthequeen.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/the-best-part-of-being-alone/ THE BEST PART OF BEING ALONE | generalpapieressais

    […] tip of your nose as you put it to your lips. The small conversations that happen with the man you buy your produce from, or the girl let ahead of you on the subway, all become a kind of warm blanket […]

  • http://xuanentan.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-best-part-of-being-alone/ The Best Part Of Being Alone | If you don't save yourself, nobody will.

    […] be around. The fact that you are now, at this moment, sitting alone in this coffee shop with this book to yourself, means that you were deeply hurt at some point back up the road and have serious […]

  • http://faithfulfate.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-best-part-of-being-alone/ The Best Part of Being Alone | Live it up ♥
  • http://aspirinroom.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/1150/ aspirinroom

    […] (source : https://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/the-best-part-of-being-alone/) […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Silently unsilenced..

  • http://itsyowyow.com/2013/02/03/thought-catalog-roundup-36/ Thought Catalog Roundup | Yow Yow!

    […] The Best Part Of Being Alone […]

  • http://suitelisablueeyes.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/first-favorites-of-february/ First Favorites of February! | suitelisablueeyes

    […] I suppose that some people will think this thoughtcatalog post is very sad. For me it was so freeing. As someone who prefers to have a lot of alone time, it […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Journey and commented:
    This is why I think my flatmates say that I’m so chill and smiley all the time. Quite happy at how I’m almost perfectly fine with being alone. It’s just that my posts don’t really come across in that way. Haha.

  • http://challengethelimits.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/alone-and-on-hindsight/ alone. and on hindsight. « Journey

    […] This is why I think my flatmates say that I’m so chill and smiley all the time. Quite happy at how I’m almost perfectly fine with being alone. And that I’m generally happy. Generally. It’s just that my posts don’t really come across in that way. Haha. […]

  • http://lucialijtmaer.net/2013/02/14/fuck-yeah-amor-total/ Fuck yeah amor total « Lucía Lijtmaer

    […] ejemplo: sobre el acto de estar solo. “Lo que te da miedo es todo lo que rodea a estar solo, pero no el hecho en […]

  • http://goodmorninggratitude.com/2013/04/29/the-perceivers-vantage-point/ The Perceiver’s Vantage Point | Good Morning Gratitude

    […] The pain in loneliness comes from all that surrounds it, not the act itself. And when you spend enough quality time alone, you realize that it is indeed nothing to fear. You realize that you, by yourself, are happy and are confirmed in life and worth by everything around you. Chelsea Fagen https://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/the-best-part-of-being-alone/ […]

  • http://t.huyuanyuan.com/space.php?uid=135207&do=blog&id=99579 t.huyuanyuan.com

    t.huyuanyuan.com

    The Best Part Of Being Alone | Thought Catalog

blog comments powered by Disqus