Thoughts on Being Alone
by Will Halverson, Executive Editor
To clarify, being alone is not to be lonely.
While one is clearly a condition of being, the other is an emotion so complex one could experience it even in a room full of people.
To be alone is not to be away from people, but it is to be confined to oneself. It spurs self-recognition even the most scrutinizing mirror would fail to address.
There are people who are alone and there are lonely people. The difference is, one group seeks out their solitude while the other flees it in fear.
One’s focus when alone is not attuned to the lack of company; for this is a habit of the lonely.
No, one’s focus when alone is simply everything else. Humanity’s greatest accomplishments, from the first harvesting of grain to the technologically miraculous commodities invented for our comfort have more or less been singular experiences, initially only known by one. To have
satisfaction, happiness, greed, sorrow, or any of the other indescribable sensations we go through within our mortality are ultimately exclusive feelings. Knowing the true colors of the sky, to oneself that is, occurs completely within the bounds of one’s own cognition.
A singular human may never know the exact minute feelings and perception of another, despite any connection they may have. Even through a tool so diverse as language, we fail to recognize the flaws of our method and conflict then ensues.
Each and every thought we might have is forced through verbal restraints, allowing for the truth to become mangled in order to fit our own understanding. In this way, one might begin to feel lonely. It’s hard not to.
It’s easy to forget, despite their singularity, our feelings are our own and in that they are true.
Whether behind a computer screen or in a crowd, one might feel lonely, but one is never truly alone.