Solitude: a state or situation in which you are alone, usually because you want to be.
Solitude is not synonymous with loneliness. By fourth or fifth grade, even in a familly of four siblings, I often felt lonely as a result of all the moving around we did. Up until the fourth grade, all that was needed to fit in was to be the same age as your classmates.
But something changed in the summer between fourth and.or fifth grade and suddenly your friends were determined by other factors…your clothing style, whether braces and/or glasses adorned your face, the lunch your brought or bought, the type of job your dad had, etc, etc, etc. If you are past the age of 18-years, you don’t need me to continue on.
I learned to deal with it by convincing myself I was okay with being alone, that I wanted to be alone. Being an avid reader helped me deal with lonliness. As did puzzles and other activities that I could do in quiet solitude. I learned, too, that holding my head up and shoulders back should others that I was alone by choice. I was not lonely.
After a while, pretending became more of a reality. Not that I don’t enjoy the company of others, but I’m also okay in the company of one (myself). This has helped me a lot, even now as I combat my current bout with cancer.