Loneliness vs. Solitude

I can’t quite pinpoint where it began, but tonight I was overcome with an irrevocable sense of loneliness; take it as you will, but there is a quality of loneliness that is daunting, if not completely discouraging. Understandably, being so far away from people I love is difficult in its own right, however, what hit me tonight is the finality of that distance—the inseparable reality that although others may not be so far as they seem—and certainly they aren’t—there, in the moment, the distance feels unequivocally and unnaturally eternal.
There is a clear difference, in my mind, between solitude and loneliness, however, sitting here now, the border between the two isn’t so far as I had previously thought. Solitude, of course, carries a powerful connotation of independence, peace, and certainly embodies a mindset of focus and control of one’s self. Loneliness, on the other hand, is a completely different beast: one that both consumes time, and makes it drag to the sound of each individual tick of a clock. Loneliness is doubtful, and otherwise significantly solemn.
When you feel alone, I believe solitude begins to blur into what we know of loneliness. Loneliness feels like the epiphany you get when you start thinking that your independence is some sort of humiliating joke.
I suppose the brunt of this feeling will subside slowly as I begin to fill the time with incessant responsibility—hopefully not all so bad—and yet, even then, I know better things, opportunities, and (please put the cliché word, describing the prospect of the future, of your choice here) are yet to come, however, it seems these things are either entirely too far away to even grasp, or nestled somewhere along the endless miles I’ve spent chasing the future that inevitably just reminds me of, and makes me miss, the past.
To be lonely is not to speak of happiness or sadness, but only to describe the state-of-mind that follows change, and perhaps to be the beacon of my longing for fulfillment. I hope it will subside; chasing dreams, if life can even be considered capable of fulfilling dreams, is only so powerful as the will behind the spirit of that dream. Time feels friendly in some ways, harsh in others, and to all those I miss, I can only hope for now to make the best of what’s to come—in loneliness.

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