Nothing Wrong with Being Lonely (Except for Being Lonely)


Are you big on definitions? Because I am, and here we go.

Lonely as described by means, among a couple other things, destitute of companionship and support, and isolated.

Isolation I like, because I am an introvert, and I frequently choose a sort of solitary confinement at home, where I’m really comfortable. And can be solitary. But it’s also in my home that I am destitute of (adult) companionship and support, because it’s just me and my daughters. What an unfortunate contradiction, right?

Loneliness is a fact of life, though. We all feel it now or later, because it’s a natural occurrence of the human condition. And so I allow myself to go through the emotional dip. I don’t let it shame me. I embrace it, even. Mostly.

“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.” — Henry Rollins

I think Henry’s right, it lends some significant moments untouched by others. Too, it’s from out of loneliness that comes a strength dependent on no one else. It’s when you surprise yourself, I’ve learned. Get things done, make yourself proud. Figure out what it means to make your own self happy, and just be you.

But there’s the downside, too. Loneliness breeds a longing for companionship, romantic or otherwise, and for interdependence. That’s something we all need, another fact of life, another part of the human condition—we are not meant to be without it. That’s the kind of loneliness that comes on so strong for me at times, especially during the holidays, and especially when my girls are with their dad.

I do make the most of my “me time.” That’s when I do my best “introverting.” I get stuff done that I can’t give focus to when I have my girls. I watch movies they won’t appreciate, and read a lot. I (sometimes) get sociable (just nothing too crazy). And sure, sometimes I mope.

It’s an interesting awareness, not wanting to be lonely, and having to admit that you are, that you’re in want or need of someone else…

“I’ve got everything I need except a man. And I’m not one of those women who thinks a man is the answer to everything, but I’m tired of being alone.” — anonymous

I had a romantic companion through part of 2014, but timing was off, circumstances were not as I’d hoped. So for now I am without. Though this contributes to my loneliness, it’s okay. I’m okay. I have the utmost faith that it won’t always be this way. (And it’s smart to point out, I think, that I’d rather be alone and a bit lonely than in the wrong relationship, one that’s forced, or unhealthy, or just flat not meant to be for whatever reasons. And I’m glad to feel this way, I can’t tell you how much.) But I do get tired of being alone.

I also know that no one—no one with the fullest house, not with the most “perfect” significant other, not even one who chooses, willingly and happily, to be single or be around no one—will ever live without loneliness.

And so I take it for what it is. Loneliness is an emotion. It’s an experience.

It’s an occasional visitor I both welcome and despise, because of the rounded out perspective it allows during this silly little thing called life.

About Janna

Just another determined woman.

Posted on December 31, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I like how you call loneliness an emotion. And we ALL experience a gamut of emotions from A to Z. I live with my husband and two teenage kids and we can all be inside the house and I can still feel lonely because oft times everyone’s doing their own thing and ignoring everyone else. I’ll feel as if no one even cares and/or knows I’m even sitting here, you know? It’s great that you know that it’s better to feel a bit lonely than to be in a relationship with someone who’s not right at that time. I’m betting that 2015 will be a great year for you.

  2. So eloquently said, Janna, and so true. Like Patti, loneliness can strike those happily married folks too. You will be a better partner when the time is right for having such a deep understanding of what it means to be lonely and an appreciation for when you’re not. Best to you and your girls in 2015!

    • Thanks bunches, Christy! And I think you’re right… my awareness now should help me down the line.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Janna. I find that being alone is a lot less lonely than being with people I can’t connect with. A lot of folks feel lonely during the holidays, because that’s when we’re supposed to be surrounded by family. But some don’t have family, and some do but still don’t get the support from them that they need. Loneliness is a contrast that brings its opposite into relief, and makes us grateful for the connections in our lives. And as you point out, it’s also a good excuse to put your “me” time to productive use. Here’s to great things in 2015!

    • Cheers, Andrea! I hope you have an excellent year ahead, with your writing and otherwise. 🙂

  4. So well said, Janna. Loneliness can be a gift or a curse, and by using those lonely times to focus on yourself and the things that you love, you have a wonderful opportunity to rest and grow your inner spirit. Happy 2015!

  5. Great post, Janna. I was surrounded by a crowd of family this holiday season, but it was also very lonely. Not once did anyone ask what I was up to or what was happening in my life. Granted, my life isn’t that exciting and I’m grateful that it’s trauma free. But being ignored isn’t any fun, either. My resolution for 2015 is to find the quietest person in a crowded room and always make sure they feel a part of the crowd. Happy New Year!

    • Tracy, I appreciate your insight. And you’ve got an awesome, sincere resolution. I like it. 🙂

  6. Very insightful. In life we all run through the gamut of emotions and I’ve found that embracing each and every one works best for me. It’s okay to be lonely sometimes, even sad. While others might try to console you or cheer you up, I believe that experiencing these emotions deepens our capacity to connect and empathize with others.

    We are emotional beings. Rather than fighting our true nature, perhaps we should immerse ourselves in what it means to be human. Life isn’t always glee and romance. Sometimes it’s about self-reflection, which in turn, can help us to see others more clearly. We’re all in this adventure together, right?

    Thanks for sharing. Despite being a natural emotion, it’s still one that many of us work to conceal.

    • Absolutely, I like how you say we shouldn’t fight our true nature. What good would that do any of us?

      Happy New Year to you, Dianne!

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