Alone versus Lonely. Two intrinsically similar words but also worlds apart.

I should know. I’ve been living on my own for the last 12 years. When I was 20, I moved to Manila for work, and I’ve been on my own ever since. And after all those years, even if I’ve spent a lot of my days alone, I’ve never once felt lonely.

Maybe it’s the nature of my job for the last decade up to now, being surrounded by and having to engage with so many people on a daily basis, that I always long to be by myself at the end of every long work day. Not that I don’t love being with the people I have the opportunity to work with, but being alone has always been my way of recharging and not losing touch of who I am.

Maybe it’s living in the Metro for far too long, that I always crave to be far away, closer to nature, and just have access to some peace and quiet.

If there’s anything being alone has taught me, it’s to be at peace with who I am and who I am not. It’s relying on what I have and what I can do on my own, while working hard to be a better version of myself everyday. It’s having a clearer understanding of what my purpose is, and devoting as much of my life to making it happen. It’s realizing, more than ever, the value of my time for and with my loved ones, especially my parents. It’s knowing who my real tribe is, those people I’ve chosen and have equally chosen me, to be their constants in life. It’s looking forward to the time I get to fly back to LA, be reunited with my man, and savor every moment together.

Truly, being alone has revealed to me some of life’s most moving and fundamental messages, and being lonely is certainly not one of them. Not to say that being lonely is a bad thing, in fact I think recognizing it as a feeling, making peace with it and doing something about it, is life changing. And as if anyone could’ve said it any better than Bukowski, “Sometimes solitude is one of the most beautiful things on earth.” Yup, I’m with you on that, Charles. Happy Tuesday!

Cath

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