Is loneliness a choice?

Yes, to some extent. But no, to even greater extent.

I remember the times when I was working in the call centre office. When 10pm shift ended, there were about twenty people returning from the office to our neighbourhood nearby. I would most often either sneak in early or stay a bit late so that I would be walking back on my own listening to music. I was hardly interested in any chit chat. I didn’t want to share the common subjects and I didn’t even want to walk back with the same pace. I’d value my time. There was work to be done. There were bets to be placed.

Not much has changed. A couple weeks ago while sitting alone on the bridge, few local guys approached me and asked if I’d like to join them as they were hitting the clubs to pick up girls. I appreciated it, I really did. Thanks but no thanks. I don’t go clubs. I don’t pick up girls. I still like going out and I still like getting to know the girls. And I even like walking with and talking to people. Just not in the common way. I feel like I am in pursuits of more mature, genuine and authentic style.

It is my choice that I do not get involved in encounters with people when I feel the level of connection might be too low to come out of my solitude. It is not my choice that desired common ground is rare. Loneliness itself is not the problem. The relationship with it is. This awareness helps me to choose with clarity in which encounters to engage. I am in peace with being lonely. I am happier when I am not lonely. And I am in peace with this, too.

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