While Tom and I were on our honeymoon, I ate breakfast on my own. He isn’t the biggest fan of food in the morning but it’s my favorite meal so I made an effort to get my much loved eggs every day. On one of the last few mornings of the cruise, I went to the non-buffet breakfast option and was seated at a table for one.
My waiter, who was some Spanish speaking nationality with tan skin, came over to greet me. At this point in the cruise, I was tired of being constantly surrounded by crowds and thought a little odd for seeking out the more quiet spots to hang out, and was ready to return to my normal life where solitude is far less questioned.
When the waiter got to me, he said “Why so lonely?” with a smile on his face. I’m not sure if his English wasn’t great or if he really interpreted my solo breakfast as me being lonely, but I felt I needed to retort.
“Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I’m lonely.”
His smile quickly vanished and he apologized as he was just joking before. But it’s an important thing for me to say. As a 26 year old woman, I have always felt a little bit off. Slightly insane. Kind of weird. But in the last 9 months, I’ve been able to put a term to that weirdness and begin to really embrace it.
I like quiet solitude. Sometimes it’s staring at the wall. Sometimes it’s driving without a destination. Other times, it’s a coffee shop with a pen and my journal. But it’s me and I’m not insane or weird. I’m an introvert.
Part of learning about yourself is fervently accepting it in the face of adversity, or at least on that moment, in that instance, I needed to do it. I needed to say it more than I needed anyone to hear it. Of course, I partially feel bad if it was his lack of English skills, but I really didn’t say it for him. I said it because I am okay with eating (and doing many other things) alone. I said it to prove to myself that I can own who I am and how I operate best.
I’m not the party girl type with a penchant for nightclubs and endless streams of new friends. Somehow, that’s odd. In order to not make it odd to others, I feel that I need to fully embrace that I am as normal as they come but it just might not be your normal.
You like loud parties with tons of new people instead of coffee shops where you sit in silence? Awesome! Enjoy the hell out of it. I just prefer the latter and there’s nothing at all that’s wrong with me because of it.
Of course, this is more of me spouting off about accepting myself for who I am and how I live best rather than needing others to accept me for it.
That end goal here, though is to say this. Being alone and being lonely are two very different states. For some, being alone is translated as being lonely and thus, is a miserable, terrible, awful thing.
For me, being alone is bliss. Possibilities are endless when I have some solo time to catch up with myself and my thoughts. Do I write? Or read a book? Or go for a drive? Or just start at the ceiling? I don’t know, but those are all incredibly exciting options for me that will make me a gentler human if I do them.