As I sit here in RealFood, a café restaurant located in One Mont Kiara (which is near my place in Mont Kiara), I was taken back to those days I wandered the streets of Boston, alone. I would spend lunch at Tatte on Beacon Hill to have a salad and ice-mocha, alone. After work I would drop by the Cheesecake Factory to have a salmon dinner and take an evening stroll down the Reflecting Pool, alone. And now, here I am, alone again (well not really, I’ve come back to my family and home country – but lets leave that out for dramatic effect) after I left my friends, work, university, and lover back in the States.
I had told my friends what my routine was like during the week and, for the most part, the weekends… all of which I spent alone, of course (except for those moment I’d go shooting with the creative people of Boston or spending time with my lover). They cringed at the thought and pity glazed over their eyes. I’ll admit that it can get lonely being alone but I put up a brave front and said, “Well, I am comfortable to go out by myself with nothing more than my thoughts to accompany me. Are you?” After you’re confronted with denials and self-defenses they pretty much admitted that they, for instance, could not stand the awkwardness that sometimes accompany with lone diners.
Why is spending some good time by yourself met with such responses like “oh Adam? Yeah, he’s a Hermit” or “Forever Alone.” Well, that bit about me being a Hermit isn’t necessarily false (ask my friends they’ll vouch for my Hermit status) but I’m not anti-social (If I were I wouldn’t have had as many lovers as I did)! Is it compulsory that we socialize with a friend every time we go out? Can’t we just go out and enjoy ourselves by ourselves? Friends and family are great and I love them with all my heart but they can be tiring and exhausting (don’t take it personally). How many times have a group of friends of yours came together to only stand in a circle in the middle of a busy sidewalk and ponder the meaning of life? Probably never… but the chances of them standing in a circle trying to figure out where to go or what to do have probably occurred 90% of the time you guys decided to hang out. The dreaded “What do you guys want to do?”
To be alone is not to be a loner. I believe that every single one of us needs each other to survive and live life to the fullest. Even the most anti-social cranky ol’ next-door grandpa needs to interact with people (like shouting at the disconnected whippersnappers of Gen Z)…I digress.
Some might say that they are afraid to be alone which would necessitate a posse, social group, entourage or what have you, every time they go out. Here's the hard truth chéri: Life is a journey full of loneliness. Take my life for example, with each country I move to I wound up leaving a group of friends, a home, and lovers behind. Then I am met by a short moment of loneliness before a new home and friends take the space of the hole left in my heart from the move. You don't have to have a globe trotting life like mine to experience this series of loneliness. Strangers can become friends or acquaintances can become lovers but at the same time, friends can leave and lovers can call it quits. Life can be lonely but to be left alone and to enjoy being alone are two different things!
Separate yourself from your social groups, stop listening to that blue Tweety bird, close that Book of Faces, put down your liking/swiping/typing fingers, and just go out there…alone…you probably deserve it.
Live Life Deliciously