Being alone - even though it isn’t a very peculiar thing, people have so many negative opinions about it. Going out for dinner alone is a taboo, shopping without anyone by your side is something nobody seems to enjoy. I, however, love doing these things. I sometimes even need to be on my own, have no-one around, have time to think about things - or think about nothing at all.
I want to travel alone. I want to visit Barcelona, Stockholm, Berlin, I don’t know - I wouldn’t mind getting on a plane without anybody to chat to - a good book under my arm, some nice tunes in my ears and a camera around my neck.
‘You’ll hate it’, my grandmother once said. ‘You won’t have anyone to point that beautiful building out to, you won’t have company during dinner.’
I can imagine that it’d be hard - but it’s not like I’m never alone now. I practically always eat alone (I live in a shared flat, but we don’t have a living room). Living on your own can be quite lonely in general.
The word ‘lonely’ sounds very sad - but I think there are two kinds of people: people who can’t stand loneliness, and people who actually need it every now and then. I sometimes hear people complain about having to do grocery shopping alone and if I were like that, I’d be unhappy most of the time.
I think loneliness is something I seek, while others might not look for it. When I know I have an evening without activities coming up, I don’t text my friends asking to meet up. I think about what I can do alone - write an article, watch Netflix, draw, bake cookies.
It’s not like I don’t enjoy having company. I need that, too. I love having coffee with friends, I really enjoy catching up with acquaintances, and I recently found out I actually like going out for drinks while I always thought that wasn’t for me. I love being surrounded by people I can talk to, discuss with, who have the same opinions (or completely different ones). I still think I am an introvert but I found out that I like the more outgoing side of myself, too.
I also don’t feel scared when contacting other people anymore. I used to be sick before meetings and parties, and I recently realized this isn’t the case anymore. I found out I actually get excited for events and this is so new for me! I think the recent change in my life has been good for me - and I’m so happy to be able to admit that. I don't know why it happened. Maybe because I tried to change my life as I wasn't 100% happy with it. Maybe because my environment changed. Maybe because I changed. I don't know - it just did.
It currently is 00:30h and I’m at my parent’s house, working on this article. I just caught up with a friend over Whatsapp - a high school friend. Even though high school ended barely four months ago, it feels like those six years took place in a different lifetime. I was a different Sjoukje back then - I thought the loneliness was me, but now I realize loneliness is a happy and much-needed part of me that doesn’t define me. I need it to stay sane, but I need company too. And that doesn’t scare me anymore - like it used to.
I still need my loneliness but I found out I like the less lonely side of myself too.
I didn’t change on purpose - I tried to accept the parts of me that I did not like and couldn’t live with, I eliminated factors that did not make me happy like they should have - and doing that actually changed me. I accept myself now and doing that made me realize the person I was trying to accept wasn’t actually me.
And I'm much happier with the person I am now.
to being happy - sjoukje
quite a deep article for a Sunday morning
how do you feel about the things I wrote?
do you think you're an introvert, extravert
would you travel alone? <3