One of the reasons I like the Facebook fanpage Social Introverts (recommended by Quiet author Susan Cain) is that it introduces me to thoughtful reads like this. To me, “lonely” is also feeling that people don’t really get the sometime need to be “alone.” || HuffPo just published Michele Willens’s piece called “Alone Need Not Mean Lonely,” which you may also be able to relate to: “I always say that if you like to read, and are interested in other people—especially those who haven’t heard all your stories or whose stories you haven’t heard countless times—you can never be bored … I would argue that those who are secure in their own lives, and not actively seeking companionship, find this more doable.”
Alone is calm. It’s being somewhere with nothing other than your own thoughts, able to hear the things that you often intentionally block out with meaningless conversations and loud music and well-attended parties. Alone is listening to the things you have to say to yourself, giving time to the more important reflections that you often allow to settle in the back of your mind like a fine dust swept under a rug.
Lonely is talking to yourself to the point that you are sick of your own voice inside your head, the nails-on-a-chalkboard sound of your own echo chamber — your thoughts and your thoughts alone, reaffirming themselves over and over until almost nothing has any meaning left. It is wanting a sounding board for all of the things you’ve discovered on your own, the things you want to confirm with the comforting reality of hearing another human being speak…
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