Lone Woman in the Cafe

There were a couple of posts I saw on a social media platform that caught my attention. On both posts, the poster uploaded a photo of a person. The people they posted were alone in a public place, one of which was a cafe. In both captions, they expressed their concern about the lone man and woman, hoping that these were OK. The most interesting part was it went viral not because the original posters were concerned and kind, but because of the backlash from those who read it.

Most people who read the posts felt sorry for the people who were violated of their privacy. The commenters added that the OPs should have minded their own businesses. They should not have taken photos of strangers and posted them online without their consent.

This made me think: Do a lot of people think that when you are alone it means that you are lonely?

Hindi ba naiintindihan ng iba na may pagkakaiba ang loneliness at aloneness?

If people do not understand the difference, does that mean people thought that I was lonely when I was alone? During the moments I was dining alone in a restaurant or cafe, the times I watched movies alone or traveled alone, people thought I was miserable and lonely??

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.

May Sarton

Quite the Contrary

It’s quite the contrary.

Introverts like me LOVE being alone. We find joy and peace in our quiet moments. We energize and fill our buckets of self-love when we do things alone. I am the lone woman in the cafe who loves being alone.

Now that I am married with kids, I still leave the house every now and then to recharge. Even for just a couple of hours.

My loving husband understands that I take pleasure in being alone. He allows me to invigorate through writing or reading quietly.

Another thing I am pleased to do is walk alone.

Walking clears my thoughts, and allows me to reflect on the world. It is during these quiet walks that I get inspiration for the things that I do. In addition, I find clarity in the decisions I need to make.

I am in spirit as I walk through God’s creations around me.

Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life.

Paulo Coelho

I judged you, too

Alam mo ba ang mga iniisip ng mga taong mag-isa sa isang coffee shop at restaurant? Aside sa buhay nila na kailangan nilang mafigure-out?

I may not speak for all.

But when I am alone, I watch and observe everyone around me.

I check the way people walk, how they interact with the waiter how a man leads a woman, and how friends laugh at jokes. And instinctively identify which ones are the good people and which are bad apples.

I was there silently observing, smiling, and celebrating life.

It may be a curse or a blessing, depending on how you look at it, I can spot couples who are silently fighting, that jealous friend in the group, the deepest love of two people, and the anguish of that person talking on the phone. Those small body languages talk loudly in the cafe. As I sulk and enjoy my freedom alone, I was there judging you.

Who am I to judge the people who posted strangers on social media? I judged you, too.

It should be noted that human beings are social beings. We need a society to survive. Our wiring as social beings recognizes our need to judge if another person is a fit in our society. Would this person be an asset in our existence and survival or not? Whether we admit it or not, we are naturally judges of other people’s character and well-being.

I guess the only difference I have with the two people who shared those strangers’ photos online is that I do not have to show the world how much of a judge I am.

Oo, judgmental ako. Pero di ko kailangan isigaw sa mundo.

So I will continuously sit here quietly, observing and judging strangers. Which I am pretty sure I would forget about right after I finish my coffee.

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