Oct 23, 2012

Being ALONE doesn't mean being LONELY


I like spending time with myself. Apparently, that's not the norm in most places. There are people who would feel sorry for you when they see you minding your own business in a tiny corner. Some would even think that you have a dull personality, you're a weirdo and everything else that is actually the opposite of what's real.

I have learned to ignore people's stare whenever I'm out alone. It goes from public transportation, malls, restaurants and fast food chains, in school, at work, parks - everywhere. At first, I just don't get why they would stare at you like you're a unicorn or an ex-con. Don't they know it's RUDE to stare? Anyway, assuming that they don't...I just learned to let it go. There's really no point proving something to someone I don't even know.

So here's the thing - I really just like being alone. Why? Because that's the only time I can be myself. I don't have to smile if I don't want to. I don't have to talk and explain things. I don't have to give comments. I just feel free! 

I enjoy the solitude, the silence...and most importantly, I enjoy watching the world go by. Yes, there are loads of times when I want to be the center (or core) of attention. But that was during the time when my family would intentionally show off to visitors or relatives about how 'good' this kid is. Most Filipino kids normally go through this kind of initiation before they even reach 1st grade. You can't blame Filipinos for being good entertainers, we were raised that way! So, growing up like that, I had this idea that I am ALWAYS the star. People should always look at me and pay full attention to me. The change was drastic when I entered grade school. No one told me that school was not my stage. And I'm not used to it. I'm not used to people pointing at my flaws and treating me like a doormat. I realized there are a hell lot of kids way better than me. I lost my shine. It was hard, but I had to go through it to know myself better.

I tried to fit in and brush off ugly remarks, trying to think that people are good deep deep down. But it didn't kinda work. Not without a pretty face like theirs. Slowly, I learned to enjoy the company of myself. I learned how to do things on my own. I learned how to be happy on my own. I had to wake up and smell independence. I eat and read by myself during breaks. There was actually a point in my life when I said to myself "This girl is never trying to fit in EVER again". And you know what's ironic? When you're finally minding your own business, some people would just get even more interested in you or in what you're up to. And that's how I learned to scan friends. Only those who would really like to talk to you would actually talk to you. Yeah, I might look like a total snob at first, but, break the ice and I'm all ears...if I think you make sense.

I am like this until now. When I'm at work, you would just normally see me sitting alone during lunch. It's not that I don't like company, I'm just OKAY being by myself. 

However, one time on my second job, there's this one colleague who's constantly asking me to join their table and their group. I have nothing against them. I just want to have some quiet time on my lunch break to save my voice. That's also my time to think about things I'd like to write about and how I should write them. I don't just really sit there and stare blankly out the window. I'm THINKING. Anyway, so, this colleague purposely went to the place where I am having lunch alone. She did the same thing that she does everyday - to invite me over to their table. And I did the same thing that I've been doing everyday - say "THANKS but I'm okay here" with a smile. 

But then, when she left, I realized how much of a snob I really am. And I asked myself "Can't you really spend one lunch break with those people?!". 

Feeling a bit guilty and ashamed of myself, I grabbed my homemade sandwich and coffee and went to their table. We had an awesome talk from then on and we're really good friends now. (She's the one who took the picture above) The thing is, I realized that I can't punish other people just because I had an awful experience a gazillion years ago. Since then, I started to lay low on my sacred lone time. I'm happy being around people and it's a nice feeling that they can see who I really am when they get to know me. They get to see how cool and crazy I really am and most importantly, they learned how to respect my weird habit of spending time alone. But for strangers? Well I'm giving them all the right to think whatever they want to think about me.


















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