Alone but not lonely

I like having no one around. I like being by myself. I like being alone, but I’m never lonely. It’s why I do so many things by myself all the time: going on vacation, going to concerts, visiting museums, shopping, going to the cinema. I do it all the time: going places without anyone else around. And I love it.

The longest stretch of being alone (and by that I mean, not seeing anyone I know or interacting with people in any other way but saying thank you when buying something at the store) was probably summer last year. I spent almost 5 weeks all by myself, which was pretty much all of my summer vacation. Another record would be my summer vacation in 2008 when I spent 30 days traveling across the US all by myself. I did see a few friends, but out of those 30 days, there were only 4 or 5 in total which I spent with people.

At the time, I got plenty of people responding to my blog: oh how can you do that, being by yourself for 4 weeks? When I go to another concert by myself, I also get colleagues asking me: wouldn’t you want to go with someone? Or when I say I’ve gone to see a movie and I’ve been by myself, I may even get a frown or two. People don’t really seem to understand or seem to want to understand that you do not always need others to have a good time. Well, at least, I don’t.

I like it. Being alone. It’s when I recharge my battery. It’s when I come to rest. It’s when I have the best ideas. It’s everything to me. To me there is nothing better than having the prospect of coming home after a long day of work or school and just sit behind my computer with a cup of tea and some music playing in the background, while I stare off into space. It’s moments like these that keep me going. If I have too few of them, things tend to go wrong: I get stressed out, I get confused and I start making mistakes. I need my little zen moments. I’m just not the type of person who wants to be around people all day. It drives me mad.

I’ve always been like this too. Even when I was a kid, I’d prefer sitting at home with a book, rather than hanging out with friends. I distinctly remember my mom sending me out the house saying: go find your friends. I came back 5 minutes later, after walking around the block one time, saying that I couldn’t find anyone. So I guess it’s just part of who I am. And I’ve come to accept that, even though most other people don’t seem to. Oh well, I’d rather be a little odd, than going crazy.

Q: Do you have any quirky habits?

8 responses to “Alone but not lonely”

  1. I recognize this. I do not have a lot of friends because oftentimes people annoy me quite quickly. There is nothing wrong with being alone. For years I traveled to the US all by myself. It is different there than here though. When you go shopping alone here, people will give you weird looks more than there. I love going to the mall and have lunch at the food corner by myself, and in the States you will see a ton of people doing the same. Not here. People like to move in groups. I really don’t. I love having my boyfriend around, not 24/7. He works 40+ hours a week so that gives me some time alone, but I definitely hate having more people around, let alone being in big groups… Drives me nuts.

  2. Or: reading a book and sensing the protagonist is a real person: being in the room with someone: alone but not lonely

  3. I don’t like to go to places on my own, but I do like my own space – I need time to think and as daft as it sounds to do the same things I do when people are around just without them being there, so I can relax more.

  4. zoiets gisteren in maarten ‘t hart’s ‘dienstreizen van een thuisblijver’: als je eenmaal een gearriveerd en vertaald schrijver bent, lijkt het net alsof de hele wereld tegen je samenspant om je af te houden van datgene … een boek schrijven. … zelfs als je je tot het uiterste verzet tegen reisjes dan weet men je thuis wel te vinden … voortdurend aanloop van interviewers en haast nog honderdmaal erger, van fotografen….

  5. Ik heb precies hetzelfde! Ik ga zo vaak alleen op reis, naar de film, naar een concert of lees thuis gewoon rustig een boek. Ook krijg ik altijd van die rare blikken en vragen, maar ik vind het alleen zijn heerlijk!

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