May 29, 2014

Walk The Line

“People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don't think that's true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.” 

-The Liberation of Max McTrue, Kim Culbertson

When I was young, I stumbled upon a saying that goes, "It's better to be alone than be in bad company," and in many ways, I think knowing that shaped my personality greatly and influenced me to be the person I am today. Oh and by the way, to those of you who already don't know- I am an introvert. Contrary to popular belief, introversion has nothing to do with a lack of self-confidence and I am perhaps the primary example of that- as I am a very up-front and in-your-face kind of person which is in essence what lack of self-confidence is not all about.  In so many ways, I believe that the ability to enjoy being by yourself says a great deal about your confidence...sometimes it is in the moments that I am alone that I find that I am able to gather my energy and strength rather than expending it by putting into account the input on others. There is something about that that I always find so draining. Perhaps the best explanation I can ever give was explained to me while I was in school- it was that while extroverts are energized by connecting and spending time with others, introverts need inward-focused alone time to recharge. When I heard this, it hit the mark to explain how I was as a person. In a society that prizes extroversion as the more esteemed trait, I have to put it out there: I do believe that there is a notable difference between being alone and being lonely and that is often lost in translation and overlooked in our world where everything is always so fast-paced, so-connected and linked by the many social media networks. Simply put, as is being alone does not translate to being lonely, the same applies with how having company doesn't always translate to happiness and feelings of being whole. I find solace in being by myself and doing things alone most of the time and I don't really make such a fuss about it because after all, who better to share a good time with than with oneself?

Yes, it is possible to be alone without being lonely, and it is actually quite self-rewarding. Suffice to say, I have admitted to myself as being quite the serial monogamist, however the concept of being "a couple" is perhaps as meaningful to me as sunsets are to a blind person which again explains a lot about my current status and predicament. Perhaps, that is something I have to learn... or maybe not. Maybe I won't ever be one of those clingy "I need to know everything you are doing while you are doing it if you're not with me" kind of girls, maybe I will never get past my aversion to answering calls and text messages for random updates on "how my day is so far," and likewise maybe I won't ever be someone who you can expect to call or text for a random update on how your day is so far...and maybe, you will find that most of the time I find the same amount of pleasure (if not more) in doing mundane and everyday things by myself than with someone else... and maybe, that's okay too. Perhaps I am setting myself up for disaster for being this way since for someone who is into the whole co-dependency thing, I would be the worst person to date since I still leave my cellphone in the refrigerator, I don't find the need to check my phone when I am out... (like ever...) and your best chances of finding out about me and whether or not I still exist is by contacting the person I am most likely with at a given time... who will, believe me respond faster than I will. I am sure there are stranger character traits out there. But on the other side of the spectrum, being the way that I am also leaves a lot of space and opportunity for someone who is used to living double, triple, multiple lives as it sets the perfect backdrop of not ever having to lie, because most of the time, I don't ask questions and I am very flexible on the "lateness," "suddenly can't make it," "reschedule cause I am tired" aspect. After all, I don't take them so personally and most of the time it doesn't bother me as long as it is reasonable. What is the extent of reasonable on my scale, you would ask, well, there was one time... perhaps a lifetime ago, I got all primped and pretty for date night, waited for 2 hours because said person was stuck in traffic and ultimately even volunteered that they head back as I am sure it would be more of a nightmare to push through than just head back. All this happened of course without even as much as a drop of bad blood or a hair misplaced from being angry for being made to wait. Until now...the strange indifference I have when it comes to having to always have my significant other around is a mystery and I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing...

As for this outfit, I wore it traveling back from Boracay on Labor Day. It is glad to get the whole thing done with and it was immensely fun. I do, have to hang up my 10-year Labor Day title and reserve that holiday for the kids. I enjoy going off-season (as I do still think it is still the best and most beautiful beach ever) and perhaps for some "me" time. I always wear sweaters going to and coming from the's a weird thing but I do get easily cold. As for next week's vacation..I, for one, cannot wait... because being the person that I am, normally living in my head and enjoying things by myself, it is nice to have a change of scenery.

On the upside, I am happy to say that despite these traits I have, I never use anyone as a human security blanket... as I do not need to. I am comfortable with things as they are and I don't mind having a plus one (whether I am in a relationship or not...) Lastly, I do not stay in a relationship due to the attachments and the familiarity of being with someone when I no longer want to. If you are one such person who is going through such a situation, I would advise you to close this chapter of being with someone for the sake of being with someone out of your life, cut off any and all communication, stop Facebook stalking them and finally let them go. I hope that this entry on how confident I am that being alone does not translate to loneliness is the message that would give you the kick you need. I hope you can suddenly realize and more importantly believe that you are actually worth more than this. You have your entire life ahead of you and once you do yourself the favor and accept that you can be alone and be perfectly fine- it will feel like finishing a painfully drawn out book- you will find yourself exhausted but you will be proud of yourself. Perhaps, in this- the most terrifying, surreal and exhilarating moment of your life, you will find freedom and you will find yourself faced with so much excitement for endless possibilities. But first, you have to embrace that there will be times that you will be alone and that it is your choice and that you have to embrace it. Perhaps, in the process, you will experience and try different things and get to meet many new people but I do hope that more than anything, you will realize that you can just really enjoy hanging out with yourself.

It can be unbelievably exhilarating to try things on your own. I understand the initial bouts of fear and doubt that will precede the exhilaration but these don't last long... unless you let them. You will discover possibility in the rawest form of excitement... you will discover the love of wandering about and then within yourself, hopefully you discover new found adventures as well- and this I believe is the most daring of all. Re-living your relationships and using them as a crutch will hinder you from realizing that you are capable of so much more... that you still have so many things to discover on your own and that you need to go through that process by yourself. You will know you're past this point when you've finally learned to be comfortable in being alone without fear of scrutiny from others. So I would advise you to go ahead and do "YOU." You owe it to yourself to use and own the uncomfortable period of in-between and play around the lingering space that the world so harshly calls "loneliness" and you will find how that is the exact opposite of what it is. You deserve to dance in your thoughts and make sure they do not get boring and appreciate your inner-monologue as your longest standing friend. Basking in being alone and doing "you" doesn't automatically lead to resigning yourself to being that crazy cat lady because I know no one is really alone forever, unless that is how they choose to live their lives. 

But for now, be the person you want to lean on most for security, for comfort and for strength... and that is perhaps the healthiest relationship you would ever have or should ever have. Coming from someone who takes great comfort in being alone, I would advise you to learn and embrace being alone. But never, ever, for as long as you live, allow yourself to be lonely.

 Thin Semi-Sheer Knit Sweater: Perfect Fit Shop
Acid Wash Denim Jeans: Vanilla Breeze Clothing
Espadrilles: Chanel
Cocoon Bag in Blue: Chanel
Aviators: Charles & Keith

xx, JL

By the way, this weekend, you know where I will be right?

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