“Do you ever get lonely?” This is one of the most common questions I get asked regarding my lifestyle. And it makes perfect sense that this is the question on the lips of loved ones, and people who I meet on a regular basis.
I left everything and everyone I knew three years ago. I’ve travelled a lot since then – mainly on my own and occasionally with friends who I have met outside my country. And when I’m not doing that – I decide to live somewhere new. A whole new country. A different city. A fresh challenge. A brand-spanking new place.
And I choose to do it on my own.
Me, myself and I. No support system or circle of friends. Some people think it’s cool. some think I’ve completely lost the plot and a select few make condescending comments about why I do it, and how it affects me. One thing they have in common though, is this question.
The honest truth is when I am on my own – I seldom feel lonely. I love my own time and I’m an independent person. I always have some interest/obsession that I want to throw myself into and I appreciate the freedom I have to choose. Sure, I could do with a hug now and then when I’m feeling overwhelmed, but I just suck it up and I crack on. Lonely when alone? Very, very, very rare for me, personally.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel lonely. And that I don’t feel it often. When I feel this (possibly the single worst feeling in the world) – I always think of a famous saying; “A crowded room can be the loneliest place in the world.”
When you are in the company of bad people, it can shatter your happiness levels absurdly quick. In fact, the people don’t need to be necessarily ‘bad,’ per se – but just bad for you. Bad for who you are and what you stand for. Bad for who you truly are at the core of your genuine self.
Imagine an introverted, staunch socialist – going on a week long entrepreneurs convention with fifteen, loud and proud, go-getting, unapologetic capitalists. The people in this example are not necessarily ‘bad’ people – but they are bad for each other. The socialist will be in company of people every day – but s/he will for sure feel the aching pangs of loneliness. Just as the entrepreneur would feel if the roles were reversed.
Desperate for someone to come along who ‘gets’ them. Agonisingly on the wrong song-sheet of those in his/her presence.
Yet most people stick with the wrong people. They don’t want to be alone in company, but they aren’t self-aware enough to know that they feel lonely deep down. And that the root cause of their loneliness is the company that they keep. Don’t be one of those people. Locate the kind of people who lift you up and give back the love which they give you. Whenever you’re in a room and you feel that no one ‘gets’ you, or that the people who you are with are hellbent on not trying to understand you on your level – leave.
Choose solitary happiness over loneliness with the wrong people. It’s a golden prison. Learn to be comfortable with your own company. And never, ever feel like you have to spend time with vampires of your energy. It’s a tough and frustrating process, but it’s worth it – trust me. I think this revelation in the last year or so has changed my life for the better.
Nothing worth doing ever comes easy. Even I don’t take my own advice and have let these circumstances drag on too long in the wrong company in the past few months. I’ve tried to explain myself and communicate with people who just don’t want to even bother. It’s a waste of time. I just can’t stand the painful, lonely feeling and it sets me back so much.
You owe it to yourself to be around people who lift you up, instead of drag you down. It’s your duty to your true self to be around people who understand you, or at least try to. Find a book you want to read, or a skill you want to learn when alone. Don’t sell your soul anymore.
You don’t have to accept every invitation and you shouldn’t be surrounded by negative energy. Be true to yourself and the right people will fall into your life. The next time you’re feeling lonely in a crowded room – get the f**k out of there and give yourself a pat on the back for respecting yourself enough for not putting up with anything other than feeling that you can be the best version of you.