I must confess that I do have a loner side – or at least the more dominant twin of my Gemini persona is. I like doing things alone. Actually, let me rephrase that…I love doing things alone. In the middle of most weeks, I find myself craving weekends with no commitments, weekends that I could selfishly spend with just myself – pondering, figuring out what I want in life, exploring new places, picking which restaurant I want to take myself out on a date, hanging by the pool with my cruiser, shopping, and peacefully doing absolutely anything I can think of. I miss being in the Philippines where I could just go on a road trip to Tagaytay or The Farm in San Benito or fly to Boracay for some R&R.
Thinking back, loner twin was not always this domineering. I used to always want to be surrounded with friends, used to plan weekly trips or gatherings with a dozen people, always going to jam-packed parties and events, hardly ever having a moment alone. But as time goes by – or it probably comes with age – I find myself being thrilled with something as simple as having a whole afternoon for myself to write, read a book or go to the mall. What the hell right?? What in God’s name has happened to me? Have I transitioned into becoming one big bag of boring bones? Or have I totally embraced my Gemini star sign that I find companionship already with my inner twins (uhm okay that one sounds a little too schizo). Let me start with a self-assessment here.
Having moved to Singapore and being away from my family and my friends, I guess it’s obvious that I had no choice but to do things alone. Moving here was my first shot at being independent as from the time I was born I have always lived with my family. I liked independence, though, and I have learned to appreciate it even more especially after, at that time, just having come out of a relationship with not much breathing space. Now I do not mind being alone at all and I am embracing the sheer control of my time, zero constraints and the freedom that comes along with it. Having some alone time actually leaves a lot of room for self-discovery and personal growth. I think it is important for anyone to achieve a level of non-dependent peace and happiness, so should you enter any relationship, you would be sure to avoid that very unhealthy, co-dependent behavior. Even people in relationships – while doing things together is important and is nothing but great, it is also very healthy that you and your partner both have some personal time, some breathing space to, say, catch up with friends, indulge in your individual hobbies or interests and the like.
This journey of self-discovery that I am going through, my recent progress in cultivating my inner peace, I would not have had the opportunity of attaining if I have not been blessed with a chance to spend time alone. While I always look forward to spending time with my loved ones, I am grateful for the times I am alone as well. Every second alone or not is a blessing and has a purpose and I have nothing but gratitude.
Time is Gold
I guess my preference for spending time alone has a lot do with my impatience and the fact that I get easily bored as well. If I know a certain event, activity, or the company would not be able to meet my increasing standards of fascination – instead of going, losing interest and then having to make up a lame excuse of why I need to leave – then I might as well just save myself and other people from all the trouble. I am very mindful of how other people feel and it is my goal to never be rude to anyone so I try to avoid situations where I am at risk of hurting the feelings of others just because of my lack of interest. More over, the more I mature, the more I realize how precious life is and how limited and precious time is that I choose to spend each valuable second doing worthwhile things and spending it with worthwhile people.
Ah worthwhile people! That statement must have sounded so discriminating to you. No, do not take me wrong. I love socializing, conversing and I love meeting new people and getting to know them but the truth is, it is not all the time that you find people of the same wavelength as you or can spark an interest within you. I am sure you have acquaintances or sometimes even friends with whom you find reciprocating conversations too effortful or burdensome. I am a pretty sociable person and I do go the extra mile to get to know each person I meet. There are times, though, that I feel burdened to carry on a conversation, talking to someone who just cannot do the same. Although, between two people, it is nobody’s fault if one (or both) is not interested in the other – sometimes some people just have very little in common. On another note, there are also some people who are just too eager to converse with others but only love to tackle one topic – themselves. Now that is a pain as well – to sit through an hour or two just hearing about this person’s life, work, achievements – with that person not caring much whether he hears a single breath from you or not so long as you sit there and digest (fine, I will digest but know that I will puke it soon after) his life story. If you even get to find a tiny hole in his tirade to actually say something about yourself, this person would very eagerly interrupt you and revert back the conversation to his autobiography. A friend once told me that when he meets someone new and he strikes up a conversation, he would start it off asking things about this new person in the efforts of getting to know that person. At the same time, though, he would give this person a couple of minutes – five, ten maybe – to show some interest in him as well. If that other person doesn’t, then my friend would not bother to carry on the conversation and just leave. Sometimes it takes too much effort to spend time with a person you have very little in common with or no connection at all.
So if I had to choose between being with company such as the above and being alone on a weekend, I guess you know I would choose the latter and make something more productive out of it. Time is precious and limited and it is best spent where you could get the most value from. So the people in your life whom you share interests and great connections with, those who inspire you, make you laugh, make you feel comfortable even when there is only silence between the two of you, those who have genuine concern for you and your life and who would always be there for you no matter what, hold on to them with dear life and give them the quality time which they deserve.
So yes, oftentimes I choose to be a loner. But those times I breakaway from my self-contained world, I choose to spend with people who add great value to my life – my family, my Aussie frog, my best friends, my wonderful colleagues and people who make an effort to live life to the fullest and inspire me with their wonderful, caring, fun-loving spirits and positive vibe. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for bringing a balance to my life and preventing me from totally becoming a hermit.
As for you reading this blog, we probably have things in common and probably share the same wavelength. Keep being the interesting soul that you are and may you always radiate genuine thoughtfulness to others and inspire everyone that you meet along the way.
© Karen Cornejo, November 2012