People say that one of the purposes of our lives is to find someone that we could justify the “forever” with; someone who could reflect ourselves into; someone who appears so much like the rest of our lives.
In today’s time, where connection has been so easy due to the advancement of the technology, it seems like having a companion has become so mandatory that being alone will always be boxed in the category of being lonely. But is aloneness always equivalent to loneliness? I think not.
When you could go to some places where no one knows you and you know no one, it’s not aloneness — it’s freedom. A privilege to discover something you haven’t known. When you are sitting on the sofa bed at 7 o’clock in the evening after a whole day of work, it’s not aloneness, it’s an opportunity to recharge and rest for tomorrow. When you are stuck in traffic and you are alone in a cab with the radio playing a super mellow song, it’s not aloneness but it’s a time to relax and have some peace of mind.
Loneliness is not always felt in the loss of a companion and aloneness is not always about going solo. But let me tell you how these two connive in some occurrences. Sometimes, in the presence of many people, with strangers’ eyes looking at you and judging you by how you look, that’s when you feel so outcast. Alone. and well, lonely.
The days could be so generous to give us people to talk to, to spend a day with someone to speak with, to be in a place where we could hear sounds and see shapes, but at the end of the day, that crowded room could also make us feel like we are alone. That room where people only exchange glimpses and words but nobody dares to dig it beneath, like you are a visitor who will never be welcomed at all. And that, I know, is a kind of being alone where you could also be in a state of being lonely.
When you are reunited with a long-time friend and discovering a different person encaged in her body — so different that her name is the only thing you really know about her — what’s even worse is she became the person she promised she will never be and you couldn’t come close to her anymore and on that moment you knew, you are bound to be alone.
When you could count by the fingers in your hands the words you share with other people and know there’s countless more behind your back and you feel a sudden blast of paranoia and consciousness in everything you do. When you did everything to be real and genuine and honest and out there, but people always seem to decline your advances so you just throw yourself in the corner and become like a living ghost. That is indeed aloneness and loneliness embracing to be one.
But through this discovery, I’ve learned that this whole conniving thing could be compromised on how you see it. You could be alone but not empty. You could be alone but not lonely. You could be alone but complete. I just thought that we should not depend our whole beings on the people who could be with us temporarily. I think we should never claim anyone as our own so that if we’re left behind, we wouldn’t feel that something is illegally taken from us. That someone out there is responsible of our loneliness and aloneness when in fact, there’s none but us.