Words by Kathlene Masilongan
When I’m left alone at night to do my work and my sister goes to bed before me, she always tells me that she doesn’t like leaving me alone because then I’d be lonely. When I tell people at school that I don’t have blockmates (we have a really small population in my university lol) because I’m taking a non-mainstream major, they ask me if I get lonely or if it’s hard being alone. When I have lunch by myself or tell people I go to movies alone, they show so much concern that I’m actually worried about them. I say I’m fine. Because, really, I am!
We live in a society that’s rooted in community. The bigger the groups, the better. The louder it is, the happier we should be. But for me, and a lot of people like me (I know you exist), being alone is one of the best things in the world.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that I was born this way, because I definitely wasn’t. I used to be the person who’d get super anxious when I had to do anything alone. However, it was continuous circumstantial events that forced me into being okay with being alone. I’ve been an “irregular” student since my first year of college and would have my vacant periods without my group of friends, so I’d go and explore the city alone. If I feel like watching a movie that no one is interested in seeing, I’d watch that by myself. I’ve grown accustomed to hanging out with myself and just taking a breather from all the socializing that it’s become my preference.
Don’t get it confused. Being alone and being lonely are two different things. As someone who is naturally introverted, spending a lot of time with people exhausts me. It’s not them, it’s me. As much as I love hanging out with people and socializing, it takes a toll on my mental wellness and I need to take a break for a couple of days after events. For example, I went on a three-day retreat with a bunch of strangers and needed two whole weeks to recover from that. But I’m alright. That’s just how I am and a lot of people in the world are.
There are a lot of perks to doing stuff alone; one of them is you can do whatever the hell you want, which is the best perk in my opinion. You want to eat at your favorite restaurant and order whatever you want? You can do that. You’re tired of waiting for your friends to get their schedules together to go on that trip you’ve been planning? Do that too! You want to watch a movie that no one else is interested in? Go right ahead!
Once you realize that wherever you go there are going to be people who are by themselves too, suddenly it won’t be so awkward. Doing things on your own is quite liberating. Having only yourself to depend on is going to open so many experiences for you to encounter things you otherwise wouldn’t if you had people around you constantly. You should try it! You can start by taking yourself on a movie date.
Do you like being alone too? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!