Loneliness Illustrated So Beautifully You Will Need To Tell Someone

I often write (and talk!) about loneliness and being alone. It’s something I personally quite struggle with, perhaps all my life, circa rise of the Internet. Well, in a manner of speaking all those in their 20s and 30s today practically grew up with it. And yet, out there I’m always surprised at finding that I’m not alone in my thoughts, and there are those who put things so quite brilliantly that I can’t help but smile (with my head spinning at the same time)

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo. (for some odd reason the vimeo video isn’t being embedded here)

via Upworthy, sharing the exact sentiments. In a world where we collect friends like stamps, here’s some sense for our social networks. At 0:40, my jaw hits the floor when creator Shimi Cohen outlines the capacity of our social circles. And when at 2:20 he gets into the mind-blowing reason hitting delete is a crutch… Yup, my brains were pretty much leaking out my ears.

Do watch and share (oh the irony) the video. Now I really need to talk to someone.

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The lonely tram

ImageInterestingly what caught my attention first looking at the image the first time was the tram car, probably because it’s in the center. It’s quite fascinating how much stories one picture can say.

To the highlight is a cute couple embracing each other, probably seeing each other after a long time (even a day is considered a long time these days, just saying). And to the right, near the tram car is an old couple walking on the street, along with others. Probably tourists visiting Lisbon, Portugal or just random folks. Interesting to see two different ages of togetherness in one frame.

But here less than the people themselves, I’m more intrigued with that tram car. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have people in our lives (and find more) is something one would easily think about or appreciate (or not), what about that tram car? It serves hundreds of passengers everyday, yet it stands on its own, going where the path leads it. Are you alone yet not lonely?

I would like to visit Portugal someday, as traveling around the world is one of my big things in my bucket-list, or should I say, wanting for life itself. The artistic subtlety and style of the photograph is one of my favourite kinds, and the road going down with the stones decorating it on either sides looks beautiful. And while I enjoy solitude I wouldn’t mind a hug from a beautiful girl either 😛

My (not so) favourite person

“I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” (Henry David Thoreau in “Walden”)

With this you might get an idea where I’m heading to. When asked “What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person?“, I’m compelled to laugh and answer “All the fucking time!” Yes, I’m talking about myself. While I’m not at all narcissistic, not I’m altruistic, I have this love-hate relationship with myself. I tend to be my own biggest critic while being at peace with myself too.

Talking about time spent with your most favourite, least or anything of that sort leads to discussions about social-individual bonding. If you want to lead a very healthy life, avoid diseases and early death, there is an abundance of medical studies with often conflicting advice like chocolates and alcohol being good for you, does cigarettes and cell phone radiation cause cancer? and the list goes on.

Of them, personally I want to talk about loneliness. Or rather how it is generally perceived. There are studies which show loneliness having negative effects on your life, from your self-esteem, relationship with people and even bold claims of high risk of death. (They have some study for everything these days)

Often I find this term is highly confused with “being alone”. Well they sound almost dam same, but there is difference and a big misconception among people who often confuse the two. I personally almost never feel lonely when I am alone, but I do many a times feel lonely when I am in a group of people. Being alone, I always find something to do, explore, think, watch, shoot, read or write about. But when I am in a group, I’m usually the odd one out, philosophically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. Yeah I’m the freaky sensation wherever I’m or the unnoticed ‘nameless one’ (get it?)

I know many people calling them as ‘friends’ (the term so arguably debatable with ten other terms which can be used and scaled with) I usually end up with the fact that friends are a ‘luxury’ I don’t have. I don’t mean to say I’m a complete sociopath but the point I’m trying to make is that loneliness is not the matter of the number of people you know or meet but more of quality than quantity. (After all, most of us will be happier with one really good girlfriend than with multiple flings, I guess)

And being a one man/woman army has its own perks, you tend to be more independent and reliable than the other way around. And to those who  would say this leads to low self-esteem, depression and being suicidal, that is very arguable since it depends on the individual and not a direct implication.

I’m not promoting loneliness of being a good thing or as such, but spending time with yourself can teach you a great deal of things and give you a very different perspective of the world around you. Even if being social might be life-prolonging, the time spent talking to uninteresting people or being bored at parties is not worth the investment if I can instead use the time for myself.

At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self.