On being alone.

I’ve had a long and storied love/hate relationship with being alone.

It’s a way to recharge, but after a while it feels… lonely. I’m not sure what the difference between simply being alone and being lonely is, but I think it’s about capability. You can be alone a room away from your friends, or lonely in a crowd of people you don’t know. Stepping across the boundaries of the crowd is a lot different than simply going to another room.

For some people it’s impossible.

But this isn’t about that. This is about your fundamental alone-ness.

That is to say… You are alone. You will always be alone. You, in a certain sense, exist inside your own head. As such the you that isn’t really body can’t reach out and touch other people, or really interface with other people. It’s like a being in a dark room and the only way to communicate is occasional taps of Morse code.

Language is sort of like that. You have a thought, you translate it into language, someone else receives the language and they turn it into their own thought. The reception doesn’t equal the transmission, though. All language ever is a game of broken telephone.

You can spend your entire life communicating with one person and not truly understand them. You can spend all your time trying to build a state machine to fully comprehend them and find you’re missing something.

Or you find that you changed the outcome by measuring it. People are strange that way.

There’s a lot of talk going on about the differences between introverts and extroverts. I see an article or tweet or post about introversion/extroversion at least 3 time a week.

We could talk about how these states aren’t discrete, how *version is a spectrum, but I think we’ve covered that enough.

I just want to say that you’re alone. You are well and truly alone. And your reaction this state of semi-perpetual alone-ness determines your place on the spectrum.

Do you retreat to this experience of alone-ness, or do you retreat from it?