5 minutes ago before I started writing this post, I met one of my friend whom I havent seen in a while. At that point in time, I was just sitting on a little wooden bench, enjoying my Makisan Meal.
When my friend first approached me, guess what were her first words to me?
Given the fact that we havent met for donkey years, one would probably guess that she would have said something like “Oh! Hello!!! How are you? How have you been?”. Well, I very much wish that was the case, but sadly, no.
Instead, my friend gently pat me on my shoulder, with both of her eyes casting a look of sympathy over me, in a soothing tone, she went, “oh my, why are you alone? Thats just, so sad…”
And in my defence, to make myself look good, I quickly replied saying “oh! No la! Cos I arrived too early for lectures!!”
Well, that certainly kept my ego and self-esteem intact. However, after my friend left, her words started resonating in my head. My emotions started sinking in as I looked around me, and woah, indeed, everyone here has their own bunch of friends, chatting and laughing away.
My little heart started trembling and aching inside. I felt really lonely at that point in time.
Honestly speaking, before my friend even approached me, I was just sitting at the litte bench, enjoying my Makisan, enjoying the sound of raindrops falling over the rooftop and enjoying my hot miso soup in this chilly weather.
Most importantly, I enjoyed my own presence.
In Asian societies like Singapore, Korea, Japan, China etc, being seen in public alone is like a big no-no. It makes one look anti-social and out of place. And this can be easily tested. Simply go and approach one of your friend and tell him/her that you are going to catch a movie alone. Needless to guess, their first response would be, “huh!! Why go alone, why dont want to jio your friends!!”. Really hor, People over here really love kicking up a big fuss over being alone.
A lot of time, we may not realize, but we express our fear and rejection towards being alone implicitly rather than explicitly.
Well, I guess being social and our inherent need to feel part of a group can probably be explained by natural evolution. Since our forefathers and pre-ancestors age, humans stick together to hunt for food and they had to be in groups, work together to survive. Even till now, many people go in groups to gain that sense of identify and that sense of wantedness (not too sure and am skeptical if everyone actually does LOVES being in the group). Social psychology research have also shown that, people who have more friends and feel less lonely are more likely to be healthier and live longer lives blablabla…
While there are many compelling reasons to be part of a group, I feel that learning how to be alone is equally important.
One thing that I feel the need to clarify is that, being alone does not EQUATES to being LONELY. Being alone allows one to gain inner peace and that clarity of mind gives you a time to think about your life and your goals. It helps in improving oneself. We all need that ME TIME given our hectic work and school life.
Another thing I hope people realize is that every single words spoken carries a meaning itself. Be mindful of your words. If you are someone who can’t stand having the slightest idea of being alone, please, at the very least, respect people who values their own space.
The next time anyone ever comes up to me and ask me why I’m alone, I’m just gonna be like “why not (insert gangster face)”.