Being lonely vs. Being alone
I've had LOTS of time to reflect on this over the course of the summer. I think I'm starting to figure it out. Processing my thoughts via list. This is probably too long to be a list but yolo
- •You can be lonely when surrounded by lots of people (strangers or friends)
- •You can be perfectly content being alone for long periods of time. This of course varies based on degree of extroversion, but I consider my self more extroverted and I've come to appreciate my time of solitude when I have it.
- •It's also good to embrace solitude because being alone can provide even more opportunity to interact with people
- •I know for myself, if I am traveling with one or even a few friends, we tend to mainly socialize with only each other. Traveling alone then provides an opportunity to not be insular.
- •Being alone can be a solution for loneliness in itself. Seize the solitude, but when you are ready, interact with people. It's all in your hands.
- •Being alone removes any buffer against potentially uncomfortable situations & makes you more vulnerable (in my case this summer me being alone allows people to feel more comfortable demanding things from me/treating me unfairly). But now I know how to stand up for/handle myself in these situations and I feel better for it.
- •Being alone leaves time for self reflection and quiet. A recent study showed that a few hours of silence per day actually made mice smarter! Could work for humans too? If so I'm going to be brilliant by the end of the summer.
- •So in conclusion, for myself I have always lumped being alone with loneliness. I've always actively looked for social situations in order to avoid being lonely. But now I really have come to value "me time" though I definitely have too much of it currently. Hoping to settle for a middle ground when I get back to the states
- •I've also learned the importance of self reflection and growth that happens when you are fully independent of anyone else. Not to mention the experiences I would have never had otherwise.
- •That's all I've got for now but 5 more weeks of being alone will likely lead to more insights :)