Have you ever felt the urge of being alone? I rarely do.
Mostly because I can’t . I have a big family, which means the house is never empty (and trust me: food, clothes and iPhone chargers are never enough) plus in my college apartment we are 4 roommates. Privacy was something I really had to fight for, since I was little.
But even though it’s hard sometimes, I really enjoy the fact that I am never alone. I like to surround myself with people, I like confrontation more than meditation, sharing more than owning. The result though is that I never really learnt how to be alone.
Life helped me in its own drastic ways. I can say I experienced loneliness 3 times in my life.
First: during hikes. I am a boy-scout since I was 8 and most of the times we organize long walks in the mountains that last for days. Why we do that? Well mostly because we get to see unbelievable places, but also because the pain and the tiredness we all feel creates an indestructible bond in the group. I’m not expecting you to understand me, if one day you’ll experience it you’ll know what I’m talking about.
So since I am a great athlete (am I the only one who thinks she’s gonna die while she’s running?) during these hikes I always found myself in the back of the group. It didn’t bother me that much to be alone, I probably didn’t have any energies left for talking. The silence allowed me to look around and what I saw was great. I could see the power of nature and the power of friendship. Plus I knew in a few minutes someone was going to notice I was far behind and he or she would have promptly come by my side. I enjoyed those moments of loneliness cause I knew they were temporaries. They gave me the chance of taking time to appreciate the world we live in and how lucky we are to share it all together.
Another time I was by myself was during flights. I took flights that led me out of my comfort zone and straight into the greatest adventures of my life. I strangely remember each one of them, the feelings of fear and yet happiness all mixed together. The first one I was so excited I couldn’t get any sleep, I watched movies for almost 24 hours trying to kill time. Another time I remember I cried the whole time reading a letter… Sometimes is painful to leave behind your loved ones. But even in those sad moments the adrenaline of a new adventure was running through my veins. I think it’s like a drug, you keep wanting more! The funniest (and yet scariest) flight I took by myself was on my way back to Europe after six months in the US. On top of all the strange feelings I had about leaving my host family and the paradise I lived in for all that time, life added a delayed flight. Normally is no big deal, but of course I don’t do normal. I was 17 and about to lose my coincidence in Chicago airport (one of the biggest in the world) at 10 pm. My VISA would expire the next day. I remember I didn’t watch any movie during that flight. When I finally arrived in Chicago I had to change from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5 in 40 minutes. It’s like having to cross the Atlantic ocean without a boat. Well while I was wandering through the airport like a mad woman trying to understand at least my way to the other terminal, a couple of men approached me. They were on my same flight and since they had heard my story (becoming famous on a flight: check) they were offering me a ride to Terminal 5. As soon as I got they were gay, and they weren’t going to assault me, I jumped on their limo (yes, their LIMO) and managed to take the flight 5 minutes before the departure. Oh boy, what a victory!
Last time I’ve been alone it was the scariest. I was about to live for 6 months totally on my own in a huge city. It was the first time I had to sleep by myself for more than 3 nights straight. But the nights didn’t bother me as much as the daytime! For the first time I experienced to have lunch or dinner all alone, which for me used to be the saddest thing in the world. Even though I tried to make it the rarest thing (I would go out every single day like the house was haunted) I slowly learnt how to cope with it, and by the end of the semester it wasn’t that bad. Day by day I learnt how to stay by myself, how to appreciate and value the time it’s just only you and your thoughts. Life taught me other valuable lessons like the importance to watch Games of Thrones or to make an intelligent groceries session because no one else is going to buy what you forgot. It also taught me that when you live alone no one else has a pair of keys. I learnt that lesson when I locked myself out the apartment the third (THIRD!) day. When a man from the bar downstairs, after 2 hours and uncountable tries, managed to open it with a credit card I also learnt to lock myself IN the house every night.
So at the end of the day being alone sucks, but it teaches you a lot of important lessons and, if you think about it, makes you live the greatest adventures . That’s why I think we all need to learn how to survive with no one else’s help. I definitely have come a long way, but still have to learn tons about being alone and actually enjoy it.
Thank you for reading