I used to think that I liked being alone. Now? I realize that, although that statement may hold some truth, for the most part, it’s false. I don’t really like to be alone. Instead, I like some of the perks that come with loneliness.

You see, growing up I was one of three kids my mother has. I’m the middle child. I had someone come before me, and someone who came after me, so I figured I’d never get to enjoy what it’s like to have my own things without worry of one of my siblings taking it or ruining it. I probably really only wanted to have some privacy, but I thought that maybe I wanted to be an only child. Now I didn’t go wishing that or telling that to anyone, but the thought did cross my mind. I figured that being an only child, you wouldn’t have to worry about much. Your stuff was your stuff, and no one else’s. There was no worry of someone stealing your money (albeit a few dollars), or messing up your room only for you to be forced to clean it later. To me, being alone at home was similar to being the only child, but I never figured out that alone + only = lonely.

Whenever I could, I always opted to stay at home whenever my siblings went away. At times, it felt amazing. I could read in peace and had my own room to myself. My mother seemed to yell less whenever they were both gone. Sometimes, she even forgot that I was still home because of how much I “revelled” in silence. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude of being alone, I failed to recognize the subtle pangs of sadness that I sometimes felt as being the result of loneliness. I was too busy worrying about how long I would have to be alone to realize that, in reality, that really wasn’t what I wanted at all.

My sister is older now, and she’s moved on out. My younger brother lives with his father, attending school in a different state. Me? I’m here at home with my mother, and it can certainly get lonely. I’m a quiet person. Soft-spoken with a reputation of not saying a word to anyone while being at home. In my mind, I figured it was loud enough, so I may as well not add any extra noise to the chaos. At school, I’m a little different. I talk more, but mainly because I understand that I can’t go through life being quiet. With that being said, I found that I actually do enjoy talking, and through that, I found that I am a social caterpillar wrapped in a cocoon, waiting to become a butterfly. I enjoy the company of others a lot more than anyone would probably ever hear me say.

There had been times when I was younger where I was literally the only one at home. Though I enjoyed it, I often found myself craving the presence of something else that was alive. Right now I’m at home all alone, and though I’m sure I could get in contact with someone to talk to, I opted to indulge in my loneliness for a bit. There are only a few good things about being alone that I enjoy: being able to relax in peace, not worrying about what someone else might do to upset me, and the freedom to observe the world around me. But all that is crap really. I can relax in peace with others around, and it’s the unpredictability of other people that I do find enjoyable. As for observing the world? I honestly can’t do that while I’m alone because there’s really no world for me to enjoy. The only thing I’m able to enjoy while being alone is looking at the rest of the world out of a window from a distance. In all my time of watching, it never occurred to me that, just maybe, I was the one on the wrong side of the glass.

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