Actress Lena Dunham has been learning to embrace her solitary time again after battling loneliness following her split from longtime boyfriend Jack Antonoff.
The Girls star parted ways with the fun. and Bleachers rocker in January after more than five years of dating, and Lena admits she has struggled to adjust to her new life, even though she used to cherish time spent alone.
"I used to love solitude. I considered it luxurious, a state in which fantasy and reality mixed and my world took on the mystical potency of a solstice gathering of nude witches," she writes in a new Vogue article.
"Even if some people like to be alone, nobody likes to be lonely," Lena explains. "It's been the subject of more art than can be consumed in a lifetime, the human aversion to loneliness and also the way we attune ourselves to it, become entrenched in a routine that isolates us…"
Touching on the former couple's decision to call it quits, she confesses, "The finality nearly killed me."
And stepping back out into the world as a single woman proved more difficult and emotional than Lena had anticipated: "I looked into my recent past and tried to remember such a time – sitting alone in an Indian restaurant spooning paneer (cheese) onto my plate unmolested, or wearing my summer dress outside a cafe as I pored over the paper – and I was completely unable to locate an image of it," she shares. "It was that pesky six-year relationship and the habits of someone unused to venturing out without a companion's prodding.
"For an exquisite moment, rather than mourn the loss of my partner, I mourned the loss of my bravery. I used to have no problem staring into the face of the hostess when I said, 'Just one for dinner, thank you.'"
Lena, who turns 32 on Sunday, has since made progress in her social inhibitions, and is now starting to enjoy her alone time once more.
"Finally, four months after the end, I found myself spending a weekend in the country, and I stepped outside and away from my companions, onto a gravel path, and in the dimming pink of the sunset I began along my way," she writes.
"It was simple – one foot in front of the other, hands swinging at my sides – but I thought, rather dramatically, I will remember this moment all my life."
Lena's candid piece about life in the face of loneliness was published on Friday, three months after revealing she had undergone a total hysterectomy to end her endometriosis pain in another article for Vogue.