That’s the word most people use to define a person who prefers the company of no one. They would rather stay at home than meet some friends. If you ask what they do for fun, they would mention anything like reading a book, watching a movie, or sleeping.
Alas, that’s the same word most friends and family used to describe me.
How I Became A Loner
My psychology teacher said that our traits are typically inherited from our parents. It made sense for some of my classmates back then because I saw some nodding or nudging each other. Perhaps it also applied to me, although I had one trait I did not think I inherited from mom or dad: enjoying loneliness.
You see, my father had been a politician and businessman all my life. He had an office at the city hall and in his company, but there were many times when people would come to our house to talk to him. And like most politicians, dad had a certain charm that drew people towards him, so he was far from a loner.
As for my mother, she was a first lady material. She was kind, polite, respectful, and gracious to any person of any age. You would never see her frown at anyone, and she could hold her own during any conversation. At the same time, mom managed to stay fit and beautiful as she aged, so everyone was also charmed by her.
If I were honest, I did not know when I decided to embrace my lonesome. One day, I felt it would not bother me if all my friends went away for good. I was not depressed or anything – to clarify. It was as if it clicked in my head that the people around me were not all friends because they liked me. Some were nice because of my parents – specifically, the favors they could ask.
As a result, I decided to hide. I would refuse to leave the house unless I went to school, church, or on a family vacation. If my friends wanted to hang out with me, they could come over, but I would not be seen in any public establishment.
When I Got Fed Up With Loneliness
The downside of my decision to become a loner was that I did not get many suitors while growing up. While most of my friends started having boyfriends in middle school, not even one guy showed interest in me. Although I would envy them sometimes, I would shrug it off and think it was for the best.
After a few years of being a loner, I did not foresee the day when I would want to end it and be with someone. Once I felt that I immediately felt like getting a boyfriend or going on a date, which I had not experienced. I was already 22 years old then – mind you.
Despite my willingness to stop being alone, the problem was that my trait had already tarnished my reputation because it made me seem snobbish and unkind. As you know, those are a couple of characteristics boys do not like in a girl.
I felt claustrophobic in my world, so I had to see our family’s therapist. An unconventional suggestion of our therapist was reinvention or relocation.
The mental health professional explained that it was healthy to reinvent ourselves. “It is one way of showing people a different side of you. It does not make you look crazy or anything; many even feel loved. However, I do not hear many people talking about or doing it because they are afraid to change. Are you afraid of change?”
“Not at all,” I replied. That’s the truth I knew I had to do; that’s why I sought the therapist’s help. “But why would I ever relocate?” I asked.
The therapist smiled. “Relocation is inevitable if you cannot find a suitable man for yourself here. Like birds migrating to various parts of the globe, you should never feel the need to remain stuck wherever you are, especially if you have the means to move.”
All I could do was nod. It took months before I decided to seek a therapist’s advice, and I only did it because I did not know how else I could stop being alone. And my therapist was correct – I might need to change my location if I could meet someone in my city.
I remained in therapy for a few weeks, trying to learn how to boost my confidence and reinvent myself. I was already looking for a new state to live in when I met a sweet man named Jim near the house. We hit it off at once, and the rest, as people say, is history.