Is not being lonely.
I’m traveling today. I left home this morning and spent the day traveling to Florida. I got to my hotel around 6pm and after getting settled, headed down to the hotel restaurant for dinner–airport fast food just doesn’t do it for me so I was more than ready!
It was nice, I sat out by the pool for a couple hours (got served dinner out there) and it was totally quiet. I was mostly by myself for a few hours. A few smokers came out but went back in. No one was using the pool, so except for the waiter, who chatted me up about my new laptop (I haven’t told you guys about that yet! more on the new laptop later) I was all on my own.
I checked email for a half hour, then mostly just sat. Did a little reading, but enjoyed the quiet and watched people, the pool and was just quiet with my thoughts for the most part. Really nice after a busy day of traveling. Then, just as I was getting ready to tab out, an older gentleman came out and asked if he could join me at my table (with his beer and cigarettes). He said “No one should be alone. Everyone should have someone to talk to.”
In theory, I guess I agree with that, but I have to say: being alone is not being lonely. I travel by myself quite a bit. Now, granted, traveling on my own is not nearly as fun as traveling with my husband, and there are always times that I find myself wishing he was with me so we could go do things I know we’d enjoy together. But that doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m traveling. Yes, I miss my family, but I can miss them and not be lonely.
The truth is, I think there’s something very empowering about being able to do things on your own. It teaches you to enjoy your own company, be self-reliant and not always need another person to enjoy things. I’ve heard people say they cant imagine doing things from eating alone, to going to a movie, to traveling alone. I’ve done all of those things and enjoyed them. It’s not the same as being with someone else, but that doesn’t mean it’s lonely. Just different!
Now, most people aren’t going to have the opportunity to travel on their own, but if you’re someone who’s never taken themselves out to dinner (or lunch or breakfast), I challenge you to do it. And not just a fast food joint. Take yourself to a restaurant. Yes, you can take a book if you need to, but go. Enjoy your meal, enjoy the quiet, watch the people and just be comfortable in your own skin, with your own company. You might be surprised at just how much you like yourself, and how grounding it can be, to be on your own, with your thoughts.
Being alone is not being lonely.
(btw, if you’re my husband and you’re reading this, the gentleman assured me that he “meant me no harm” and was “old and married”. Plus, I was on my way to the room anyway. But he definitely a character!)