Hello you beautiful person you.
I’m on vacation from the retail job right now and there’s one thing that always crops up for me around this time: aloneness vs. loneliness.
You should know that I’m a bit of a hermit. I rarely go out and I’m very selective about who I hang out with. I am the definition of a homebody and I’m fine with that. I think it’s why the Goddess Hestia and I mesh so well.
I get a good amount of social time and friend time at the retail job so when I go on vacation it’s usually just me, myself, and I. That’s when the battle of aloneness vs. loneliness comes into play.
Aloneness is when you are alone and you don’t mind.
You laugh aloud while reading in bed and you yell at book characters and there’s no one to mind. You dance to the kitchen, naked, while singing a made up song, and it’s cool. You get the whole bed to yourself and you wake up in strange positions. You can order a pizza with just olives and mushrooms because it’s your favorite and no one else’s opinion matters. You can also watch as many episodes of Golden Girls while wearing your comfiest pjs and that’s the norm. You can go to the bookstore for books and coffee and stay as long as you want. You can go to the movies and see whatever you want and eat popcorn and you don’t have to share.
Aloneness is wonderful, it’s soothing, it lets you be comfortable with who you are, in your own skin.
Loneliness is the evil twin, maybe not so evil, maybe just the sadder version.
Loneliness is when being alone doesn’t feel good. You feel like something is missing, you feel a lack of connectedness with yourself or with others. Being alone feels like a burden and you have no one to share it with. The aloneness suddenly makes you feel isolated from everyone else. It’s usually accompanied by Depression. Loneliness really sucks. There’s really not much of a difference between aloneness and loneliness other than your state of mind and what you do with it.
In these times that I am alone a lot I become aware of loneliness lurking in the corners. I reach out and have a chat with someone, or ask my best friend to go out for lunch. Being alone is okay. Being not-alone is okay too. Oftentimes we allow ourselves to be lonely when we don’t have to be. We can call our friends or family and ask them to come over or go out, and we can also see the blessing of being alone and learn to find the pleasure in it.