The world would suck if it was full of ‘only-children’.

I’m an only child and it took me forever to learn that things didn’t revolve around me. Life has since kicked my ass, but I’ve never shed the desire to remain independent. I’m too independent to a fault. I like being alone; I’m a classic introvert who regenerates energy through solitude. I only feel lonely when I meet someone interesting — it reminds me that isolation is a consolation prize. Being around people is great when the chemistry is true. We weren’t meant to be alone.

I’ve spent a lifetime understanding camaraderie. It took me awhile to know that distance isn’t flattering and being “the best me” isn’t me at all. I’m likable when I’m straightforward, but perhaps it’s my thoughts that I’m too selfish to share. I’m my own best friend, my own sibling and I get jealous when someone has the real me. I don’t mind offering a packaged version; I can make thousands of packed mes. It’s a safe Louis, a practiced extrovert that’s refined for public consumption.

I can be alone on my own island having lengthy conversations with myself. The people who care for me say it’s unhealthy. I tell them I’m tired of being inauthentic. They say just be the real you. We know it’s not that simple. Besides, it’s not good feeling judged. Being alone helps me cultivate. I can see clearer when there aren’t doubting voices. Sometimes life can be surrounded by the negativity; everyone’s always waiting to give an opinion and unsolicited advice.

The danger is, I’d believe in my own bullshit. I’d embrace my cocoon. A part of me begs to be freed. This paradise I call independence is, perhaps, really my own prison. The worst confinement is the kind that’s embraced. Perhaps if being alone wasn’t such a habit and a comfort, I’d have incentive to share myself. I’m trying. One step at a time.