what it means to be alone

It’s funny how as I grew older, the less I want to be with other people.  This, of course, does not mean I’m completely abandoning my extroversion because I can always bring it out.  I can be a really sociable bug, or maybe it’s my way of hiding the fact that I can’t stop talking.  But sometimes, I don’t like interacting with people.  I’m not one of those people who hate other people (although there are some people who get on my nerves and in the end I feel like I’ve downgraded an IQ point after conversations) nor am I one of those who go out almost every night, socializing until the late hours.  I’m in the middle.  I keep to myself and I socialize until the wee hours… on Skype. I’m kidding.

It must’ve been the weird schedules my friends and I have, wherein my breaks are their classes and vice-versa.  I have a five-hour break I have to kill and I end up disappearing in the library, writing and studying after.  I remember in June (last month, actually) where Camp Nanowrimo happened and I purposely hid away from socializing to finish the words (I won, yes, I did.  Heavy editing will still happen soon.  I’ll write about my novel here sometime).  But now that it’s over and I’m stuck with no one but myself and my laptop, I write and study mostly to pass the time.  It’s not that bad.  I actually only spend time in the library for two hours before my friends come out and have lunch.  But being alone has its perks and I’m not sure I like letting go of it at times.

Retreating to the library and to this undisclosed place (I’m not telling for privacy purposes) are the only two things in school where I can claim it’s my space.  There are no hasty conversations, noisy laughter, or things that keep me away from thinking.  It was difficult during the first weeks because aside from the fact that I didn’t have an ID, I wasn’t used to being alone.  I would stay in the cafeteria and type away idly, pretending I’m waiting for people to arrive.  My sister’s friends found me and told her that I was alone.  Of course, it was a joke and while my loneliness was a laughable thing (yes, myself included), it was painful.

But lately, I’ve treasured moments where I’m by myself.  I can admit (with a hefty dash of guilt) that I look forward to having the house to myself (with my sister around, or sometimes not even).  I’m in the room with the air conditioner on, typing or watching something, laughing alone.  It doesn’t feel so bad actually if you get used to it.  Sometimes, I get up and continue reading that Sophie Kinsella novel (I’m less than halfway through Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, yay!) while I’m tucked in.  Or when it’s midnight and I’m either doing the same things (reading and watching) while my sister’s asleep.  But of course, these moments happen only when my parents are away.  I can never do any of these things when they’re around (yes, I feel like a rebel but come on, allow me that feeling for once).

Will these feelings help when I will travel away for the first time, or (hopefully) when I study abroad? No, I’m not going on that JTA thing, don’t remind me.  Will I like walking down the pavements alone, enjoying the sights? Of course I would.  I meet a lot of people everyday and while it’s mad fun to crack jokes and go out for lunch, it’s nice to be able to hear that the only noise from where you are is the whirring of the air conditioner (yes, I mentioned this twice because in a country like this, you need it.  like, urgently) and the sound of singer-songwriter music playing in my ears (yes, I am totally into singer-songwriters now.  Thank you, Joshua Radin).

What with being on a tumblr / twitter hiatus, I am away from all distractions (oh, please, Facebook is not an entertaining social network) and I can finally concentrate on other things I couldn’t do when I had them like studying and writing.

What it means to be alone is not to be a loner and an antisocial.  You can be a bit of both like me, and stay in the middle.

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