Erlebnisse: Loneliness

“I enjoy controlled loneliness. I like wandering around the city alone. I’m not afraid of coming back to an empty flat and lying down in an empty bed. I’m afraid of having no one to miss, of having no one to love.” — Kuba Wojewodzki, Polish journalist and comedian

I identify with this so much. When I tell my friends I rarely, if ever, go out alone, they’re shocked. They ask me why. They say they do it themselves, regularly, and that I should try. But I do. I stay at home alone. I read alone. I sing alone. I play guitar alone… you get the gist. It’s not that I don’t like going out alone. If I had to, I would. And I have. It’s just that it’s more fun with a friend – and I have a choice. What I don’t like about loneliness is that it’s not just being alone. It’s being alone because you have no other choice.   I guess not everyone’s been through this. Being forced to be alone because everyone else has someone else. Being alone because even your closest friends push you aside for better, more outgoing people. That’s loneliness. It’s the quiet of the classroom that no one knows. It’s the turning off the lights so no one knows you’re in there by yourself. It’s the keeping quiet for hours on end, not saying a word, because there’s no one to talk to.   Loneliness became like a glove to me – the first time you wear it, it’s weird. The feeling of having a layer between your fingers when you press them together is foreign. But eventually you get used to it, because it protects you from the cold. And then after a while, you feel comfortable with it, and it feels weird when you take them off – when you feel the cold of the air outside.   Loneliness is like that.   The first lunch you spend alone is alien. The quiet stings your ears and your eyes dart around restlessly. Then, slowly, you get used to it. The quiet has its perks. You start accepting that this is your life now. That the quiet is where you belong. Then you get comfortable. You find the outside noises grating, and the conversations around you annoying. You’re quiet in a sea of chatter. You forget all the times that have made you like this, and wonder what is it that is different about ‘everyone else’ and why you aren’t like ‘the rest of them’. You retreat further into your shell of quiet, and soon it becomes a trait. People start referring to you as ‘the quiet girl’, but nothing more. And strangely, you like it like that.   x

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