I enjoy my solitude. I have no problem entertaining myself. I have plenty of thoughts, ideas and memories to keep me occupied. In an on-line world I often need to unplug, find a quiet space and just read a book – a real book, not my Kindle. I think a lot of campers and solo travelers are loners, not exactly antisocial but people who enjoy the peace and quiet of their own company. Somewhat introverted, I enjoy individual relationships and small groups. Being alone is a choice, a need to withdraw and quiet one’s mind … to enjoy the sights and sounds of the world without intrusions. I’m friendly but not gregarious unless I’ve had more than one Grey Goose martini.
Loneliness is an emotion, a feeling of need, a yearning for validation and love. Being alone too long can lead to loneliness and I believe extended periods of loneliness is unhealthy for the mind, body and soul. Recognizing the difference is important because loneliness requires action.
When I’ve withdrawn from society long enough to regain my equilibrium and begin to feel lonely, I am fortunate that I can re-connect with a loved one or jump in the car to visit a child or grandchild for some rambunctious love. I can meet a friend for warm conversation, a hug, an arm around my shoulder or a pat on my hand. The antidote for loneliness is the willingness and ability to reach out to people for a physical, mental and emotional connection. I know that not everyone has that capacity or has a network of family and friends they can run to. I feel for those people and wish them well.
I would enjoy hearing from others who enjoy their solitude … those who can be alone without being lonely.