“There are people who like to be alone without feeling lonely at all.”

The morning is a quiet one with only the songs of birds breaking the silence. I am part of the morning. A calmness seems to take over, a slowness with no need for haste. I stood outside leaning on the deck rail for a long time. I could smell the freshness of the morning air. I watched the birds at the feeders and the slow sway of the leaves from the slight breeze. It is a familiar feeling for me, the sense I am alone. I remember being in Maine on vacation, and it was pouring. I took my book and went to the car, got comfortable and read for hours. I loved the sound of the rain on the car roof, and I loved being alone. When I’d get home from school on a rainy day, I’d take off my wet clothes, put on cozy pajamas, get in bed and read. I snuggled in the warmth of the blankets and loved the quiet of my room. I used to be a night owl, and I was always the only one awake in my neighborhood. I remember being outside at one or two in the morning watching the meteor shower. I oohed and aahed as they lit up the sky. Every other house was dark, and I felt sorry for them. I wanted to run up and down the street waking my neighbors so they could share the glorious sight of all those meteors. I didn’t, which was probably the right choice.

The first time I ever lived alone was in Ghana. We were altogether for training so someone was always around who was sharing the same experiences I was. At the end of training, the transition to my post, Bolgatanga, way north and off the beaten path, was difficult, especially the first few months. I was terribly homesick and had no one to talk to about it. I was also having trouble teaching. The students didn’t understand my American accent, and at the end of the class they would tell me they heard nothing, a Ghanaian term for not understanding a word. I felt like a failure. Here I was lonely, miserable and a complete failure. I made plans to go home by Christmas if things didn’t change, but happily for me they did. I began to love being alone, to having all this time to myself. I would read for hours. My letters home were filled with everything I saw and did, and I took pleasure in the descriptions. I didn’t have to lie any more about everything being great because it actually was. I learned how to teach, how to enunciate. No more did students not hear me. Everything had fallen into place, and I couldn’t imagine leaving.

I bought my house when I was 29. I have lived alone the entire time. Sometimes I’d like some company, and I always miss my guests when they leave, but I am content living by myself.

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14 Comments on ““There are people who like to be alone without feeling lonely at all.””

  1. im6 Says:

    Whew! When I saw today’s KTCC music selections listed in my email and on my Facebook news feed, I got a little worried. “Kat’s really depressed,” I thought, “or something’s happened.” Glad to discover that’s not the case. I’ve been alone most of my adult life as well. There are times it hasn’t been all that great, but overall I think it was meant to be. There’s a certain freedom in it and I don’t believe it’s a matter of being self-centered. In my case, it’s probably better for all concerned.

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      I think over time my idiosyncrasies have multiplied, and I would drive a roommate crazy, but I do like living alone. I am accountable to no one, and that makes life easier. I do have pets, and they are great company. I talk to Gracie all the time, and he does talk back to me, as in sassing. I’m not kidding. My friends think it is hysterical. I don’t.

  2. olof1 Says:

    I bought my cottage when I was 36 and have always lived by myself just because I love to do so. People always believe it’s terrible to live alone and always feel sorry for those doing so (even though there are more single people households in Sweden than any other kind).

    I’ve always been a morning person and saw the stars in the early morning instead but to be honest, they are very easy to see after 4pm in winter so there’s no need to be a night owl 🙂 I can look at them for hours, my mind travelling between the stars finding new civilizations 🙂

    We’ve had a very nice day here, sunny and warm bordering to cool compared to how this week has been. A strong wind has kept most flies away but I have some nice itching bites from horse and deer flies. Still this is one of the better years when it comes to those though.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It feels good to live in my own house. I take pride in having it look good.

      I do wish, though, that my sisters would come to visit more often, especially the one not so far away.

      When I worked I was up at 5 and in bed early. Now I stay up until I am tired and wake up whenever. I like the freedom of that.

      Today too is a nice day here: not too hot or humid. Tonight will be cold at 59˚. We have no flies for which I am thankful.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  3. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    I’ve lived alone and lived with roommates– though at my thorny old age, I couldn’t fathom living with anyone. I do become lonely though– the ” we is the part of me” feeling. I felt alone when I fist went away to college, cried, and then met what was to be my best friend there and forever.

    It is early for me.. so I’ll just wave..

    Waving,
    Lori and….????

    • katry Says:

      Hi Lori,
      I’m with you in having it difficult to imagine having a roommate now. I am seldom lonely, but every now and then I could do with some company.

      Ghana was my first time ever being homesick. Letters took a couple of weeks to get home, and you couldn’t call, but I got used to that and loved being there.

  4. Birgit Says:

    Though I don’t live alone I have a room for myself and often need time to be alone. As a kid I deeply missed a private place at home. Back then I would have loved a “Lonely House” which reminds me to ask whether you’ve heard of Leyla McCalla (former member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops). I think she’s one of the more interesting new voices and she plays banjo and cello, New Orleans-Haitian-Folk-Blues.
    Leyla McCalla – “Lonely House”:
    https://soundcloud.com/leylamccalla/lonely-house
    (Her complete first solo album is on Soundcloud.)

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      This is a great song. Thank you. I will hunt more down to listen to.

      I used to go to my room. Though I shared with my sister, she didn’t usually play there so I could be alone. Our house was small and seemingly filled to the brim with people. When we moved to the cape, I got my own room, and I was thrilled. It was my haven.

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    After my mother went into a nursing home in 2009 my doctor kept asking me if I was lonely. I always said no but she kept asking. Finally I had to explain to her that I had been sharing my space with one or more someone’s my entire life and now there was no one except the dog and it’s wonderful.
    I miss my mother. There are people I would like to see more often than I do. But I love living alone and not having to adjust to someone else’s habits or explain my own. I can just be. So relaxing.

    I was out the door at 5:45AM to walk the dogs. Yeah. It was lovely and we had a nice long walk. I took my camera, too. I bet I made a hilarious picture as I tried to take one-handed photographs while holding two flexi-leads in the other hand and spinning in circles to unwind myself as the dogs play wrestled all around my feet.

    The weather is lovely. The AC unit is still in the box. 🙂

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I just got back from my Friday play and was surprised that it was cool just as predicted. My car said 64 outside. What a delight!

      There are also people I would like to see more often, but that only happens if I go to them. They don’t seem to want to drive down here. They whine it is too far. I guess it must be shorter from the Cape to Boston.

      I slept until 8:30 and never made it out the door all day. I have to go out tomorrow to get the stuff for our movie night dinner: hot dogs and chorizo and a salad. Nothing fancy. We’ll have movie food after dinner.

      I would have liked a picture of you, the dogs and the camera.

      I agree-no need to take it out tonight.

      Have a great day tomorrow.

  6. Coleen Burnett Says:

    I have lived with others at various times (like now) and even though we live under the same roof, we all have private rooms. I like living alone. I think it comes from being an only child.

    Waving as you enjoy the weekend,

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Coleen,
      I like living alone, but I think mine comes from being one of four children.

      Waving back from a chilly cape!

  7. flyboybob Says:

    One of the best parts of my job is that I get to travel for a week every so often and get to spend some time alone in a hotel. I have been married for almost 29 years but every once in a while it’s nice to be alone.

    We are still looking for our first 100 degree day. Today almost made it at 98. Next week they are forecasting a cold front which will bring us rain and high temperatures in the upper 70s. Mid July in Texas and we haven’t broken 100 degrees? It must be the fault of global warming. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I understand that feeling in remembering when I lived with my family and private time was almost nonexistent. I agree about it being nice to be alone when you are usually living in a house full.

      Global warming does affect the climate in so many ways. There was actually a tornado in the western part of the state which leveled much of a small town. We broke 80˚ only once so far, but that is really more of an ocean effect.

      The climate is going wacky all over.


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