Saturday, September 15, 2012

Loner Or Lonely?

I am a loner. My dad is a loner and I am his son. I’ve always had a fear of being an angry, lonely, old man that nobody wanted to have anything to do with. To be a burden to my girls or an embarrassment to my granddaughters. But, inside I have always been a loner.

The past five months have taught me there is a difference between being a loner and being lonely. It started on a Thursday evening, back in late June, on an evening when I just had to get out. Used the phone to find a local Sports Bar and found one half a mile away. Walking through the door I decided I had to change my method of operation, so I introduced myself to the bartender and asked her name. She introduced me to several other people sitting around me and the conversations started. This place was like a huge hall of friends. Every time someone else comes in the people ask, “Do you know __________ ?”  This establishment has such a diversity of people, backgrounds, and stories it is amazing. People from 21 to 90 all there for a good time.

Well, good time is a relative term. You see this is where I learned the difference between being a loner and being lonely. An example is an older gentleman came in one afternoon and the group I was talking with turned their attention to him. Greeting him, asking how he was, why he hadn’t been to breakfast, or to the golf course. His response was he just didn’t care any more. They continued to talk to him and reminisced about good times they all had shared.  He wasn’t buying what they were selling. He went to the restroom and the man next to turned and said, “He lost his wife of fifty some years about two months ago.” He returned and they continued to try to pick him up and he finally said, “Just leave me alone! I don’t have anything to live for and may as well just lay down and die.”

 Well, this fellow has been back a few times since then and every time he looks worse than the time before. The staff of the bar and patrons all show their concern for him, but he just wants to be left alone to have his drink. There is a noticeable sadness in this man that I don’t really know, but everyone can see it in his walk and demeanor. A sadness brought on by the loneliness of loosing a spouse of fifty some years.

There are several widows and widowers who frequent this establishment as well as many who are divorced. They haven’t given up on the hope of life, seeing friends, and having a good time. Granted some of them aren’t alone by choice, but there is a noticeable difference between those who are alone and those who are lonely.

Yes, I am a loner by choice, but I am, thankfully, far from being lonely.


  1. This makes me so sad, because while I'm rarely alone, and not what anyone would call a loner, I'm often lonely. My husband Highway is the same way, but he is really a loner too.
    I'm working towards being honest and open, which is different than being what people want and outgoing. To show my true self and be outgoing is like being unarmed and naked in a knife fight.
    The thing I've always admired about the bikers who haunted my home as a child was that they were not hiding from themselves. They knew they were outcasts from society and they only needed to be accepted by one another. I want the same. Only to attract like-minded people and be welcomed by them.
    Living in a world with people who don't understand your pain, like this man, is torturous. His pain is so great he can't imagine anyone else feels this way, even though they do.
    I hope he makes it back to his home bar; all the way back.

  2. ↑ Loner

    All I wanna do is have a little fun before I die

  3. wow...
    i get it, i appreciate this hugely, and im speechless azhd.
    big HUGE hugs!

  4. Tina; thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Maybe my being a loner is why I've never given a flying F**k what anyone thought about me.

    No Name; I get it, but I also know your name. See, we can't hide from everyone.

    Ms Q; I will always accept a HUGE hug, or just a little one, from you. I, by no means, am claiming I don't NEED people in my life. Just that being smothered is something I can do without.

  5. Well said. This post struck a chord with me because I too am a loner. Always have been. And you're right; it's not the same as being lonely. While I'm comfortable in my own skin and quite content to be alone I can also find great enjoyment in the company of others, but I don't need it to feel complete.

  6. Canajan; There are a lot of us out there. Life is a free choice and being a loner dosen't make us bad. Being lonely is a different emotion entirely. Thanks for the input.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I see myself having been a loner since I was a kid. I think everyone goes through "lonely" for a period and then gets out. But you never go in and out of being a loner.

  9. Paul:

    I'm not a loner but it is working out that way. No one I know rides so I always look forward to meeting others "on the road"

    You can also be in a room full of people you know and still be lonely. It has a lot to do with your state of mind at the moment

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

  10. It doesn't matter how many people love me, or how many people are around me...I am always alone, it's just me. The whole damned planet could love me and it wouldn't make any difference.

    The story you tell says alot about risk in this life. If you build your life around someone else, then you are taking a huge risk if it fails. If you don't let someone else into your life, then you miss out big time.

    Life has a funny way of making sure you get both good and bad no matter who you are. Knowing you are alone, but letting people into your life is the only way to make the balance thing happen...otherwise you are just a bitter mess.

    When are you going to make like the lone drifter and blow this way?

  11. MP; I agree and know that there are times being alone is a necessity. I love people, but have to have alone time to survive.

    Bob; Some might say being a loner is a character flaw and that is OK. Whenever on the road I look forward to meeting other riders because it adds to the adventure.

    VD; Balanced or off balenced, life is what it is and I am enjoying the ride. Not much more a guy could ask for. Careful what you wish for...I feel the wind beginning to blow east.

  12. VD; I was directionally challegened tis morning.....the wind is blowing West!!!!!

  13. I was brought up and lived most of my life with someone by my side. Literally at all times.

    Wasn't til I was near the end of high school that I began to 'walk my own path'.

    The feeling I receive from being "free" of contact from others is welcomed and I cherish my alone time to this day.

    I have several friends who are "loners" and they look at being alone differently than I do.

    Unfortunately, the gentleman you spoke of sees no light at the end of his tunnel. Until he believes there is hope for a compelling future he will slowly waste away. It is nearly the opposite of growth.

    Thank you for sharing. I am new to this blog and yet I feel very connected to it as we speak.

  14. I waiver back and forth between being a loner and wanting to hang with people. I'm usually content though just chill'n at home instead of having to find something to entertain me out on the town. Now and then I feel the need hang with friends.

  15. I have a small plaque the shape of a dog bone hanging on the wall by the bathroom sink. It reminds me every morning as I brush my teeth that "Dogs make the best friends."