Loneliness is knowing the difference between being lonely and just being alone.
Loneliness is playing by yourself at recess as a kid. You are happy with your own imaginings, but you still wish the other kids would invite you to play with them.
Loneliness is crying at a sleepover because it hurts that everyone else is best friends with each other… and then there’s you.
Loneliness is being better friends with your teachers than with your peers. It’s not that teachers are bad friends, but it’s still kind of sad.
Loneliness is looking to books to meet all the other lonely characters, finding comfort in the fact that at least someone understands what you’re going through.
Loneliness is pretending to get all the pop culture references people make because you don’t want to seem more different than you already know you are. Because what makes you different haunts every single social interaction you make.
Loneliness is constantly hiding your real self because nobody ever asked to see it before.
Loneliness is being afraid to say goodbye because you’ve seen what it is to not be lonely. But now you have to start all over.
Loneliness is just wanting to be acknowledged.
Loneliness is being brought to tears when you finally are noticed, even if it’s in the smallest way possible.
Loneliness is not being understood. It’s being simplified into a caricature instead of being given the opportunity to be complicated, with faults and virtues. Because having faults means you’re real, and that makes you beautiful.
Loneliness is always being on the edge of conversation, watching others interact and wondering what happened to make you invisible.
Loneliness is knowing that all of these things can happen with complete strangers as well as with your friends.
Loneliness is blaming this all on yourself—your shyness, your fears, your differences.
Loneliness is one day finding the strength to do your best to make sure that the people around you don’t suffer the way you did.
Loneliness is not wanting people to feel sorry for you but just wanting them to understand.
Loneliness is enjoying, even loving, solitude but still wanting an invitation.