At times when we feel alone and lost, we are most often tempted to go out and party all night. Go to a pub, disco, hang out with friends and have free flowing booze…to fill that emptiness and to drown that feeling of loneliness.
Anything, but to spend time alone because often than not, we do not enjoy our own company enough- the quietness of the four walls makes things worst for us.
Recently, while sharing with a friend, she told me that sometimes, she would just rather spend time by herself rather than going out partying. She confirmed what I’ve suspected a lot of other people feel all along- that when you feel alone, you can go out and enjoy, dance, get drunk and party all night. But she comes back late at night or early in the morning feeling more empty, hollow and lonely than before.
But in the aftermath, when you come back once again to your home, you will feel worse, and more empty that before you went out. The sudden silence and emptiness that fills your heart can be a terrible, horrible feeling.
Don’t worry, if you feel that way, there’s nothing wrong with you…it’s something that a lot of people go through but don’t talk about it.
In my previous job, we used to have a lot of events, outings, functions and some of them came with free flowing beer. We even went to Hatyai one year and were treated with all sorts of shows. Except for exploring the town, walking around their night bazaar and drinking a cup of heavenly delicious iced coffee with a few close colleagues, the rest of the trip- expensive dinners, aqua and xxx shows were not memorable.
I have always loved dancing from young, as Paula Abdul had been my early influence. So during the early years, I used to dance the night away with my colleagues during events and teambuilding trips. But after I come back to my hotel room, it will be a strange feeling of being in the dumps- as if your mood went up the wave and then you come crashing down the pit. But not long later, even the dancing and dinner got less enjoyable, I don’t know why- perhaps it’s part of aging . I just attend these functions, eat, and dance like a zombie but my heart was not in it.
Maybe I’m just being too sensitive- but through observation, most people don’t genuinely enjoy these events. If they do, then why their smile and laughter never reach their eyes on their beautifully made up face. Why they yawn so much or stare at the stage with empty eyes. Most people such as VIPs are there out of obligation. Towards the last years, I would leave the event early with my close friends and we will go to somewhere quiet to chat than to hang around the deafening disco music.
Do you envy young girls that you see in MTV shows who are partying the night away on their rich dad’s money?
Often, prolonged and continued exposure to such shows and influence, through ‘cool’ or ‘popular’ friends who fuel the feeling of dissatisfaction, and sometimes self loathing. We learned to hate our figures, our looks, our poor parents.
But unknown to us, we are chasing and wanting something totally meaningless and unworthy. There’s always that looking outward and endless comparing with what we don’t have that others have- this cannot make us really happy and contended. So in the end, we get stuck in jobs we hate but pays well just to maintain that lifestyle that we just assumed that we cannot do without.
If you find that what I say does not make any sense (by you’re still obliging me by reading on), try measuring against your inner compass- do you come back after every party feeling that you’ve enjoyed, that you’ve had a good time and then, you look forward to the rest of the week. Or you come back feeling jealous at another more popular person, or hating yourself because you’ve over eaten the dessert (because you’ve nearly starved yourself the entire week) or feeling rotten at the horrible hangover headache?
To be happy, you must be able to completely enjoy your own company. Enjoy solitude- you can be alone but not lonely- since you would have know how it is like to be among big groups of party goers but lonely.
Staying all by yourself on a Friday or Saturday night watching movies, reading a novel, listening to music, blogging is not pathetic. Being in a company of people that you don’t particularly enjoy that drains you is pathetic ….not to mention that it drains your wallet too.
Being comfortable and completely at ease with yourself takes practice. You can start by taking meals by yourself…turn off the laptop, MP4, shut the book and stop texting messages or calling people while you are waiting for your food or eating. Just sit down quietly and look around you and then slowly enjoy the food as it is being served to you.
You may ask: So what if, God forbid, your colleagues in a group bumped into you eating alone and throw pitiful glances at your way?
Okay, let’s get one thing straight… you are not pathetic and pitiful that no one wants to have lunch with you. You have just chosen to have lunch by yourself….you prefer your own company and is happier. What other people think does not matter- it’s their brains anyway and you cannot control what they want to think or yabble about.
It takes practice to slowly stop being so self conscious. You know, having a quiet meal- eating slowly and without someone on the other side of the table yabbling away negative things or office gossip can be quite a therapeutic experience. By eating slowly and calming your mind at the same time, you’ll be less prone to indigestion and will emerge after lunch more calm and ready to face the rest of the work day….instead of sluggish, lazy to start work and angry with your boss because your colleague just told you something bad that your boss did.
If there’s any consolation to you, a lot of high ranking bosses usually enjoy dining quietly just by themselves. If you don’t believe me, look around you the next time you go to a cozy place for your meal.
Once you learn to be comfortable with yourself, you’ll learn to take these little breaks- perhaps even go off to a holiday all by yourself. Hey, travelling alone can be real fun, you know.
When we learn to be comfortable with ourselves, other people will be comfortable with us. We will also start attracting friends and people who are confident, secured and equally comfortable with themselves. It’s surely a worthy attribute to cultivate, don’t you think so?