Unpopular Opinion: Alone Isn’t Always Lonely


Graphic provided by Jayden Barnes

Chloe Mendoza, Co-Editor in Chief

For much of my life, an invisible line separated me from the rest of the world. It lingered everywhere I went, daring me to jump and enter reality. I frequently stole looks at everyone else, as if all were in on some huge secret I just didn’t get. 


Then at the start of high school I discovered the silver spoon force feeding me the recipe for the perfect girl. The artist of my invisible line, it fooled me for so long, posing as the whooshing airplane that once smuggled sweet peas into my mouth as a baby. The recipe was much too complicated and impossible to get right: 


Be smart, but not too smart or you’re a try hard. Be athletic and join sports, but just don’t get too muscly! Be skinny! Wait no, slim thick. Keep your hair long, it looks better that way. Only like boys that play football and don’t snap back right away or that’s totally desperate. Be assertive but not a b****. Break some rules, goody-goodies are boring. Ambition is good! Until it becomes bossy. 


With time and practice I dedicated small parts of myself to this recipe, and mastered the art of being in two places at once. But I teetered over the line, scrambling for anything to hold onto. It was exhausting and unnatural to me. I was not meant to be like this. Physically present at parties, lunch tables, and in classrooms, I often caught my mind wandering somewhere else completely. 


Though I loved connecting with others and forming meaningful relationships, an evil voice at the back of my mind perpetually told me that I wasn’t worth knowing. In short, I learned that loneliness is most painful in the presence of  others. I thought following the rules would erase my barrier, but the line still stung like a tattoo on the earth. 


So in the tenth grade I distanced myself from many people‒loved ones and friends. I began to find peace in being alone and started to do more things that brought me joy. I found communities of love and vibrance, and slowly I decided to overlook some of the unrealistic expectations I’d given myself. One day the recipe turned to ash in my mouth and my invisible line disappeared. 


Today I know there are some truths that can only be found within ourselves. So often do we look for meaning and validation in others do we forget that self-love and understanding is invaluable. 


There are many different versions of me in this world. Each person I meet has a different perception of me. But only I truly know every rivet, dip, and scar that make  me who I am.

Sometimes we must force ourselves to relearn the small details that mark our personalities in order to remember the beauty of our existence. 


I once feared being alone and missing out on experiences with others. While I’d still consider myself quite the extrovert, now I am able to relish the silences, the peace, and the unique meaning of being enough for myself. 


Alone isn’t always lonely. It might be just the thing you were looking for. 


PS: Reject the silver spoon! Be who you want to be.