Alone is not the same as lonely.

Borrowed from Google Images

I was never alone as a child.

Until I was eight there were aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, a sister, a brother, Dad – that I remember.

From eight until twelve there were new brothers and sisters, cats and dogs, budgies, ferrets, Mum.

Later there was Dad again.

And friends.

Then there was a husband. And a new family – his family, then our family.

So no – I was never alone – even as an adult.

But I was often lonely.

I didn’t fit you see.

Square peg – very round holes.

As a youngster I had trouble at school – not making friends, that I knew how to do well. It was keeping them that was difficult. I had learnt, from changing schools at a rapid rate, that you needed to fit in to a certain mould for people to like you. But after a few weeks I always found it hard to maintain the facade.

You see I was odd. I saw the popular girls all wearing the same clothes, listening to the same music, liking the same boys. At every school there would be a different set of guidelines to follow to acceptance, but basically the rules were the same.

Blend in, don’t show your individuality or brilliance at anything too soon – actually don’t show it ever.

Never dance to a drum they don’t hear.

So that’s where I was doomed.

Because I was very much an individual (no matter how hard I tried not to be), and I had a brain that flew on a very different astral plane to all the rest.

I was also intelligent, another trait that I tried to hide, but my damn arm was the problem. When the teacher asked questions I knew the answers to, it had a life of its own. It started off with a twitching feeling, then my elbow would bounce outwards from my side, where I was busy desperately trying to hold it against. Hanging on to my hand with the other hand never worked. It was dying to wave about in the air as well.

I think it was the unicorns and fairies that were to blame for the worst. They inconsiderately followed me from house to house. Their presence wrecked any chance at maintaining other more normal friendships.

It is hard when you are continually having to push people out of their way (unicorns take up a lot of room turning around), because they choose only to reveal themselves to you.

The fairies were – pesky.

Their shenanigans cost me more than one budding friendship.

It is hard not to laugh out loud when they play hide-and-seek in someone’s hair. I have learnt to keep it to a polite smile, but the corner of my mouth does twitch a bit at times.

These days there are not so many people around – and I often find myself alone, by choice. Except for the unicorns, Wraith in particular spends a lot of time here – and he is a big boy.

Wraith - Artist Corina Ravenscraft a.k.a. dragonkatet

His movements are particularly graceful, but something that size – always causes a few problems. Oh and let’s not forget the fairies, and D. Who is D you ask ?? He’s the protagonist in THE BOOK.

D - as he appears to me...only his clothes are much sexier in my imagination - if that is possible...hehe

D and his brother Z have come to stay at my house. At times they are worse than the fairies and unicorns combined. They argue a bit when they are not dashing about trying to save their world.

Then there is Joe. Joe is in his fifties, looks a little like this.

Any wonder I don't mind Joe waking me at 3 am to discuss his issues...

He is Catholic, ex-Army, and in love with a Brad Pittt look-alike. Joe has issues. Issues he likes to discuss at three am – around the time the Grumpy Cat is trying to flick the window catch, to escape all the insanity, she mumbles as she dives out the window.

But – here’s the thing. I don’t try anymore to hide them, the friends that only I can see that inhabit my world. And no-one seems to think me certifiable.

Maybe they’re just not voicing that – but I don’t care, because these days I’m not lonely. Both of my worlds have come together.

It had to do with accepting myself. I needed to do that before anyone else could.

Then I saw her face...now

There are still the naysayers, these days I sense them as they round the corner and quickly cross the road.

I have time only for the embracers of fantastic. There are a lot of them out there.

For now and the future – I will weave my dreams into new worlds…

 

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

37 thoughts on “Alone is not the same as lonely.”

  1. A lovely post Jo, i have always had friends through my life, two very close ones. But in saying that i am somewhat of a loner, keep my own council, but always willing to help. There are people i have known for 20 years and they know little about me, and thats the way i like it.

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    1. Hey Harry – I’m lucky enough to have a bunch of friends who (these days) accept me and all my quirks. It’s not that I have a problem with them knowing me – not anymore – it’s the ones who do know and judge – these days I just don’t worry about whether people like me. It no longer means that there is something wrong with me – to me at least.

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  2. Talk about soul, my dear, dear Jo. When you share yours as you have here, my own wants to wail. I want to carry you away from all those who ever made you feel like a square peg. I want to carry you deeper into that wood that is your own to celebrate all that is You, your deepest, most authentic Self, the Self that moves me to tears, tears of joy at your beauty. I want you to see what those of us who see with our souls see….YOU. A magnificent creation of imagination, wonder, joi de vivre, strength, courage, and then, tucked near the back because it so beautifully sensitive, a tender heart made of gold that forgives and loves thru it all, no matter how selfish those around you may be. Jo, you bring me tears. Tears that bubble up from my heart of hearts, from my soul, at your beauty. You are, my dear, dear friend….seen…and so very very loved.

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    1. Dear sweet Brynne – thank you. You know – I may still be a ‘square peg’ – thing is – I like it. I don’t want to fit in to any holes – or fit with any ideas of who or how I should be. These days I still dance to a different drum, but I sing along (loudly, and out of tune most of the time) so everyone knows it. The rest is up to them…

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  3. JO, THIS IS MARVELOUS WRITING! And a tale I can definitely identify with…LOL!

    “Because I was very much an individual (no matter how hard I tried not to be), and I had a brain that flew on a very different astral plane to all the rest…./…There are still the naysayers, these days I sense them as they round the corner and quickly cross the road.”
    YES!!!!
    ^^

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  4. :O Wow, I didn’t expect that, but thanks very much for sharing with us, your friends! I never fit in, either, and yes, there is a very big difference between being alone and being lonely. I think it matters so much when you’re a kid because you’re still trying to find yourself and your identity…but once you accept who and what you are, and not only accept it, but embrace it, the world opens up! It may be an “Alice in Wonderland” kind of world, but so what? Imagination, fantasy and creativity are what flavors an unusual life. Why be ‘normal’? 😀 As for the naysayers, I say help those you can, but never allow them to drag you down with them. You’re far too special to let that happen, my dear! You’re awesome! 🙂 *hugs* Never forget that!

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  5. I love this post. Yes being alone and being lonely are so different. Like I said the other day, your words always move me, make me think, and make me appreciate things in my life. I love your honesty and ability to open up. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for saying so – this blog has become so many things for me. My platform to rant about the injustices of the world, a place to cut out my demons of the past, a forum to form friendships. So happy I started it !!!!!!!

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        1. As do I dear friend – this space – has granted me something so special – learning to know people like you that would normally be beyond my reach – and my heart soars with the joy of it.
          🙂

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  6. Keep weaving your Dreams Jo… loved this and soz not been around lately … But Im here now, 🙂
    I know exactly what you mean.. Im a person that is very much at home with my own self.. alone but never lonely 🙂
    beautiful Post Jo.

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    1. I love being alone these days – well alone as you can get with two cats, a dog, a bird, and all the fairies, unicorns, and characters from THE BOOK and my stories. Wow – it is actually quite crowded here now I tally them all up – guess I am not as alone as I thought…hehe
      🙂

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  7. You should not be surprised Jo, Pirates never fit in with regular people. Also not surprising, I find as I’ve left the physical image of youth behind (though not the mental), I tend to gravitate to square pegs and they seem to gravitate to me. I think square-peggers tend to send out a harmonic that can only be picked up by other Pirates, fairies, unicorns, trouble makers and most animals. We tend to make people nervous with our calm yet eccentric behavior and our twisted views on this beautiful world. Perhaps that harmonic of Peggers is what brings us all together. Three cheers for Peggers!

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  8. Great post and lovely illustrations to enhance it. I can totally relate – are you sure you’re not my sister (haha) because there are a lot of similarities. I once wrote an article on bullying and made a very similar statement about how being alone and being lonely are two different things. I’m the same as you these days, I love my own space and it never bothers me if I’m on my own. I dip in and out of people and social activities. Loved this.

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  9. That was a pretty light and colorful kinda funny post. Nice job writing this way all the things that can be pretty painfull. Being different, accepting your self, be accepted by others. Beind different (and weird! :P) is something i struggled with as a child, teenager and i am still fighting it. Only now i am not trying to blend in or change myself in order to be accepted. Now i am just fighting to love myself the way i am, and keep in my life people that appreciate me for that.
    Some time ago i wrote a fairytale about a monster, Jack, who was too scared to leave his house because he thought everyone would turn him down, just by being himself-a monster. I will post about this when Jack is ready…

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    1. I will wait with great expectation…never be afraid to be yourself…there is nothing more beautiful than you – in this moment.

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  10. As a fellow square peg, I enjoyed this post immensely; likewise the comments and responses. As someone who has Pinterest categories ‘Faery’ and ‘Dance’ (amongst many others) I can relate to all the sentiments expressed!

    Like

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