People often ask me how at the age of 18, when teenagers can fly in the sky of freedom and roll in the field of experiences, can we possibly feel lonely?
Most of the time, I respond in a lighthearted way: “Well, that’s the loneliness of young adults!” Many people would agree that freedom is happiness. On the other hand, immersing yourself in the pool of freedom can be chilling sometimes. Loneliness is the silence of life after a day colored by laughter and conversions. It is those quiet moments where we get to touch the simplicity of ourselves within.
It’s understandable why people are afraid of being alone. The feeling of looking inwards, looking at one’s truest self, can be intolerable. It requires openness and great tolerance to accept the shape of our “original” self.
We inevitably feel lonely in new environments. We seek the feeling of belonging in strange new places, always trying to find closeness in our community.
As an ambivert, the mixture of a social butterfly and a quiet kid you never notice, I tend to seek relationships with depth and long-term commitment. That is always my implicit goal when I socialize. I believe that there will always be my “cloned person” somewhere, and that we will be attracted to each other. In the book, The Rabbit Effects author Kelly Harding says, “Good When We Are Alone “Loneliness is less scary if you know how to embrace it” Written by Linh P. Nguyen Photo Source: Pinterest friends turned out to be the genetic equivalent of about fourth cousins. In particular, these friends seem to have the most similarity in the genes coding for smell… [the] likeliness of friends includes pheromones, or tiny airborne hormones, passing unconscious messages to others.” All in all, I believe people who share the same frequency will be attracted to each other.
It’s funny how many of us fail to achieve this seemingly simple goal. Why? It’s not easy to form deep connections in our relationships. In personal life, no one can say they have never been lonely. Even those people you find extremely interesting, extremely beautiful, and extremely talented will be lonely sometimes. For me, the loneliest feeling is when I think no one understands me, that no one understands what I’m going through when I’m sad and don’t know who to talk to. Even when I feel happy about something, it’s lonely when there’s no one to share it with. This feeling is why we always try to cultivate and foster relationships in our daily lives.
I started asking myself, could that person, my “cloned person,” be me? After a long time of seeking that type of relationship from others, I reflected on myself when the feeling of loneliness was still inside of me. The person who understands you best, the person who has witnessed the happy times, the sad times, all the ups and downs of life, the person who accompanies and listens, is yourself.
I love people-watching at local cafés and watching adults minding their business, alone. They look so at ease, and I wonder if it’s because they are used to being by themselves.
One question comes to mind: how do we find comfort in the loneliness? Phrases like “befriend yourself” or “self-love” are familiar hashtags on social networks recently. I find them a bit superficial. More simply, ask yourself the question, “After a long day of struggling outside and returning to my den, what is the thing that makes me happy, thing that I can spend time on for hours?” Ask yourself this question.
I don’t expect everyone to have a perfect, heart-touching answer. If you don’t have one, go find it. Being able to have a deep connection with your inner self is the ultimate friendship goal. Loneliness is not as scary if you know how to embrace it in your own way. I hope that this article can be a guide for you to find happiness in your loneliness.