Being Independent Can Be Lonely, And That’s Okay
Loneliness. Independence. Is it possible to have both at the same time? This is something I’ve been considering for quite some time. I spend the majority of my time with other people. My work colleagues, with strangers on my commutes, or with my loved ones at weekend. I get very little time to myself, so when I do get that sliver, I enjoy it. Whether that be a half hour before bed, or ten minutes on a weekend morning when I routinely wake up early. With the events that came at the end of 2016, I became fiercely independent. I like my own company, and I’m comfortable in it. It’s other people that can make it a lonely place, which I’ll try my best to explain in this post.
It’s healthy for everyone to spend time alone, in order to learn to like your own company. It also prevents a fear of being alone, and a dependence on others. I’ll openly admit, I put my headphones in on public transport and before appointments to avoid small talk. I spend lunch breaks alone, usually to make as much time for blog work as possible. Embracing your own company is pretty crucial. At the end of the day, you’re all you’ve got, so you might as well like it. Right?
I like being independent, and I like being alone at times. What affects this is when other people make you feel alone, despite it being your choice. What inspired me to write this post? Being surrounded by people, ironically enough. They made plans, and despite being present, they excluded me. This was a first world problem and it wasn’t a big deal. It’s not like they’re my best friends, I shouldn’t have felt hurt. But I did. I like my own company, but I’m not defined by this. They excluded me completely and discussed it numerous times while I was there, and that felt shit. They made me feel like me and my company weren’t important, and it was an awful feeling. If a situation like this happens to you, allow yourself to feel what you do. Because it’s pretty damn justified.
I didn’t write this post to moan about how crap people can be. As true as that may be, it’s simply an observation of how it’s possible to be independent, and still feel lonely simultaneously. And how that’s a totally normal and natural feeling to have. I think the key to trying to not let it get to you, is simply to focus on what YOU’RE doing. How you’re improving things and being a good person. If someone else chooses to be a shitty person, it reflects on them and them alone. If you’re interested, I have written posts on friendship and relationships and making your life yours that might prove helpful. I’ve never been ashamed of being independent, and I’m not going to start now.
As an independent person, have you ever felt lonely? How did you deal with it?