When Lonely Is Beautiful: The Case For Solitude

“In nature, nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed.”

  ~Antoine Lavoisier

Sometimes, life begins to shift like a kaleidoscope, the brilliantly colored pieces constantly  breaking apart and tumbling into new patterns before I even had a chance to savor the last ones. Sometimes, I am barrelling between two continents in a tin can–  my heart existing somewhere in the ether between my two lives– I feel like human radio static, like Mike Teavee, and I never know quite how all the bits will fit back together on the other side. Or should they even? Do I want them too?

Sometimes the leap of faith starts to feel like a free fall.

Change is an inevitable part of the cycle of life, but it’s accelerated when you’re on an adventure, when you’ve chosen to live your life waving your wild tail in the lonesome wind. When you fall madly and passionately in and out of love with every new place that you visit, when you make friends as quickly as you say goodbye to them.

I cannot force a universe constantly in motion to stand still– even for a nanosecond. The movement of life is as inevitable as the in and out breath that animates my body– the soft and constant reminder that I am alive.

So then why fear it? Why try to change it? Why can’t we both let go and embrace with the same magnitude of joy?

I have come to learn that as much as I don’t like it, loneliness is an essential ingredient in the life I’ve chosen. Sometimes it seems an unbearable price to pay, sometimes I am grateful for it. Loneliness allowed me to take my first steps forward out of the life I thought I should be living and into the life I was meant to live. Because I no longer fear being on my own, I make my choices based on what I know is right for me and not what society tells me is the good, safe, acceptable way to live my life. Loneliness taught me how to love myself when I was afraid that nobody else would. Loneliness made my world bigger and multiplied my possibilities.

Does it suck sometimes? Yeah. That’s where the gratitude comes in. That’s where I take a moment to breathe and thank myself for being strong enough to go on this adventure. That’s when I take myself on a walk on a biting cold day, down to the lakeside and allow the enormity of life to wash over me. That’s when I thank the universe for everyone who has been and will be influential in life. That’s when I know that I don’t need to hold onto people, places and experiences to make them any more of a part of who I am.

I have learned to make friends with my loneliness and understand that it, like all other states of being, is only temporary. The idea that the only moment we have is the present can be terrifying, but it is also beautiful. It simplifies so much.

Hello Moment, I Am Here 

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“You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the ocean in a drop.”

~Rumi

19 thoughts on “When Lonely Is Beautiful: The Case For Solitude

  1. Solitude is vital for a healthy mental state. I never understood people who are craving attention all the time and feel bad whenever they need to spend a night alone. It is important to know ourselves more and solitude is the best way to experiment with things.

    1. People are social creatures and I think the culture we live in conditions us to crave acceptance from others. However, you can’t find your true path if you’re busy following everyone else! Once you spend a little time alone so many things become clear.

  2. I find that some of my friends who don’t understand the difference between solitude and lonliness are usually those who can’t even bare a second alone to face their true selves. Nice post 🙂

  3. “Because I no longer fear being on my own, I make my choices based on what I know is right for me and not what society tells me is the good, safe, acceptable way to live my life. Loneliness taught me how to love myself when I was afraid that nobody else would. Loneliness made my world bigger and multiplied my possibilities.”

    Yes!!! Discovered this on my first expat journey, such an important and valued part of my life now. 🙂 So glad I found your blog! Looking forward to reading more.

  4. Loneliness is beautiful.

    I think it’s when we are alone we make the most profound observations, because how can you when you don’t take the time to stop and think, you know?

  5. This is so AWESOME! I can’t tell you how this resonated with me. Travel has always been in my heart-I can make a friend anywhere, I just have the sort of life that always seems to call my attention elsewhere. I want to live this way so much, but I have little ones that need stability. This is what I have in my heart, where nobody can touch it and sully it with good advice, though. Loved this! Re-blogging this!

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