Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Being Alone: Pesky Insecurities and Lessons Learned

Photo By Verne Ho
Image Credit: Verne Ho via Unsplash
Hi there! Today, I wanted to talk to you about something a bit more personal.  I'm writing this super late at night and I'm hoping that it'll help one of you out there. However, like some bloggers have admitted in the past when writing more personal pieces, they not only write it in hopes of helping others and sharing their experiences (I don't want to use the word wisdom because I don't consider myself to be that wise), but also to help themselves get through or accept a certain thing.

The title "Being Alone" can be interpreted different ways. Maybe the first thing you thought of was being alone in a crowd and feeling lonely and lost despite the company. Maybe it was not being in a romantic relationship. Maybe it was taking time to take care of yourself. Whatever it was, hopefully, I'll touch on it in this piece. Grab a cup of tea because it's going to be a long one.

everything's moving so fast

In the fast-paced world that we live in where everything can be done so much more quickly than before, we get bored a lot more easily. We're always looking for things to occupy ourselves and are pretty darn scared of just being alone with our thoughts, whether that be in public or in private. If we're in a restaurant and I'm with a friend and she decides to go to the bathroom and I don't go with her, chances are, I'll be on my phone at the table, waiting until she gets back in fear of looking like a total loner by myself. But before phones and all that stuff was invented, what did we do? Were we as scared to have nothing to do?

Being by yourself - alone - in public and doing on your own thing brings about one of two reactions from people most of the time. If the person's nice, it's pity. If they aren't that kind, they probably think you're a weirdo and a loner. I'm not trying to be patronising when I say that, especially since I've done it in the past where I pitied people in those scenarios, but remember that maybe that person just wants to be alone. Maybe they're happy in the moment being by themselves and want to spend time figuring out who they are instead of who they should be around certain company.

you always have to be around someone to feel happy - a load of BS courtesy of popular human interactions

I think that our innate desire to be accepted and loved is taken to the next level in a social situation to the point where we can't be happy without having someone there by our side. We all hit points in our lives when we feel as if nobody in the whole world gets what we're going through, where we all feel lonely and lost as heck. It can even be 20 times worse when you're in public and you see everyone with other people, having a great time, and you're just... not.

In the short 15 years that I've been alive, I haven't figured out a quick and permanent fix for that feeling. To be honest, I'm not sure if there is one and I'm not sure if there should be one either. I think it's important to let yourself feel pain because strength is forged from your pain and lessons from past experiences. You can't be strong if you've never been weak before. That's something that I learned that hard way. They say to practise what you preach, but if I'm being honest, I'm still a bit stubborn with that last one.


I never talked about this before, but I was in a relationship until almost two months ago. I didn't want to discuss it on here because it was just something really personal that I didn't want to broadcast to the whole world, even when that relationship made me happy. It was just my little secret in my own "real" life, I guess.

As my use of the past tense has probably hinted, I'm no longer in that relationship. I don't know much about romance and all that stuff, but what I experienced was a feeling that maybe I was somehow not as good and not as valuable nor worthy or a person as I was when I was with that guy. That my realising that he was totally not right for me and was going to go about my day with this other person by my side was a bad thing when it's really not.

I've told many people in the past when they've asked me for advice for a myriad of different topics is that it's just as valuable to know that something doesn't work for you as it is to know if something does. I guess it's high time I start taking my own advice.

I think that being with another person can teach you many things about yourself, but there might be a point in time where you need to step away from it all because you realised that it's not working. Then, you'll be own your own and you might not want to be, but it's important to be alone. That way, you can really take time to take care of yourself and learn more about yourself.

Another thing that is really important is not to make someone else your happiness. People come and go and if you're lucky, you'll ones that stick. But for your own sake, when people leave, if your happiness is completely dependent on them, it's not particularly healthy for you, now is it?

social risks

A few months ago, I went to see a fashion documentary called Dior and I in a special theatre downtown that shows a bunch of lesser-known flicks. I was originally going to ask a friend, and I think I did, but then I felt bad for asking her because I didn't think she'd be that interested, so I didn't press it further as the date neared. Instead, I just went by myself and sat right in the dead centre of the theatre, my favourite spot, while other couples walked in and sat around me.

Originally, I wasn't going to take the risk, to do the little experiment with myself and go watch a movie by myself. The idea had always scared me and I'd never wanted to be that person sitting alone in a theatre munching on popcorn all mopey. Watching a movie with a friend is totally in my comfort zone, so I wanted to get out of it and do something that I'd never done before. So I put on a pair of heels, red lipstick, and bought a ticket for one to a showing of a documentary that I'd been dying to watch.

Maybe it wasn't as big of a deal as I'm making it, but I learned something from it. In a crowd, you can only be lonely if you make yourself appear that way. Otherwise, you're just a person going about their day alone. Do everything with confidence and it'll take you from a lonely girl who (supposedly) doesn't have friends to a bad-ass and independent chick.

After that, I went to see yet another fashion documentary, Iris and had the time of my life. Some bits of the movie were a bit dry, but I definitely enjoyed myself more by myself than if I had seen it with someone a little less enthusiastic as I was because I'd be worrying about whether or not they were enjoying a movie that they spent $12 on or not.

other people

My friends have looked at me a little weirdly in the past when I told them that I went to the mall by myself or something like that.

"So you just went by yourself?" they'd say with their eyes wide open in disbelief.

It really wasn't that big of a deal for me and it really shouldn't be for you either. Go put on your best shoes and your favourite lipstick and head to the mall for some treats for yourself (or others if you're feeling generous). Roam the busy (or quiet) streets contemplating your life. Go see a movie that you've been dying to check out. And if you're a little scared to tackle those things on your own, put in your earbuds and blast some music so you feel as if you have a friend who totally gets you right there beside you because let's face it, sometimes, music is just so better than actual people.

I guess that wraps up my ramble on my own insecurities and little bits that I learned from it all. Please, please, please let me know what you think down below! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Thank you so much for reading!
- J

1 comment:

  1. Sorry if you're feeling a bit down lately. *hugs?*
    I admit I don't often feel loneliness--it's the crowd that scares me; I'm often the one standing in the corner when there are a lot of people; I even enjoy being alone most of the time. Still I have experienced loneliness, especially when I got used to having someone with me. I think it's okay to have someone as your source of happiness, just don't let that be the only source, and remember that there are times when you will be alone, and there's nothing wrong with that. There's no quick and permanent fix for that feeling, and I agree with you that there probably won't be and shouldn't be one. The way I like to think of it though, is to get used to it and learn to make peace with it; accept it, enjoy it even. As for those who think people that are alone are pathetic or loners--screw them. There's nothing wrong with being alone, as long as you're happy with it. ;)

    (and sorry if this post has a creepy amount if page views--I wanted to comment multiple times but I got sidetracked; when I come back to my browser refreshes again, hence the page views :P)