Most people associate being alone with loneliness. If you happen to be at the movies or a restaurant by yourself, it’s perceived that you’re unlikable and/or that you don’t have any friends. It’s just the immediate thought and sometimes, or maybe most of the time, it’s unintentional.
But being alone and being lonely are two completely different things. Maybe all of that person’s friends are busy. Who knows? Some people, like me, just prefer being alone most of the time. I like spending time with my close friends and family of course, but it overwhelms me when I’m constantly around people. It’s the main reason why I wasn’t too fond of staying in the dorm rooms at my old university. Constant socializing makes me a little resentful towards people and I’ll be forced to stay in my room for hours at a time. It’s unintentional.
Anyway, going out by yourself shouldn’t be something you should be embarrassed about. I go out to restaurants, coffee shops, malls, and bookstores alone all the time; and I love it. Maybe people will think it’s strange but when are you ever going to see those people again? Don’t worry about all of them.
In Berkeley, I constantly saw people I knew in restaurants but I found a way to ignore them. I mostly contemplated to myself about what I was doing and what I wanted to do. It’s a little risky to be by yourself when you have depression, since your mind tends to get lost in the guilt and pain that you hold. Whenever you find your mind wandering into the abyss, go distract yourself and concentrate on something else. Playing the piano always works for me.
I guess the point of this mini-rant is to tell you that you shouldn’t fear being by yourself. Even if you’re the most sociable person in the world, I would think you’d need some time alone.
To tell you the truth, I used to fear this exact thing. When I found the time, I dug deeper and realized that it was because I just wanted to fit in. I thought having loads of friends and constantly going out would help. But the more I spent time ruminating and doing the things that I loved, the more I embraced who I really was. I gradually stopped caring about how others would see me if they saw me alone, and just relished in my me time.
(By the way, I took the photo without my sister noticing. Yes, that is my sister. Not me.)