Be Alone But Not Lonely
As I made my way home one day after a lovely walk on a crisp Sunday morning, I peered into the window of a coffee shop and saw someone sitting alone. Immediately I thought “aw, that’s too bad,” and after it crossed my mind, I asked myself, “why do we assume that people are sad and lonely if they’re doing something by themselves?” Why does society have this idea that everyone is better off constantly surrounded by others?
Ironically, I had just spent a glorious hour during which I grabbed a latte, popped my headphones in to listen to my Summer Love playlist, and walked to the canal to sit, enjoy the view and read The Night Circus, all alone. And I loved it. Don’t get me wrong, I adore spending time with friends and meeting new people, but my alone time is precious to me, and I would never give it up. Being alone and being lonely are two drastically different things, and it’s important to remember that. When I’m alone I make myself laugh at all the silly things that run through my mind. Ideas occur to me and I don’t need voice them and wait for them to be validated by a laugh or a nod of agreement. I can appreciate my quirks, and the way my mind jumps from one thought to the next.
When I’m alone I smile at strangers who are also alone. We don’t need a club or a society to celebrate how awesome solitude is because we all know it; there’s no need to yell about it. It’s this taboo thing that everyone can do. Don’t let everyone else make you feel bad for having a great old time all by your lonesome because you genuinely enjoy your own company.
When I’m alone I can observe my environment. Without the distraction of chatter from companions, I can focus on all the beauty around me because the world is teeming with life and it demands to be heard. I notice the little things. Look, someone’s got a bunch of ripe cherry tomatoes sitting on their porch just waiting to be picked. Don’t mind if I do. Hello world, I’m watching and listening!
When I’m alone, I don’t have to worry about anyone else. I can spend an hour trying on clothes just because, and no one will be annoyed because I take too long in the changing room, and don’t buy a thing. I can turn the lights down low, crank the music, or turn on the fan, and no one’s going to say anything about it. I can sing at the top of my lungs and won’t hear any complaints.
Enjoying your own company doesn’t mean you are friendless or antisocial. You know how to appreciate spending time with yourself. I’m one of those people who goes to movies alone because I want to, not because none of my friends were free that night.
Doing things by myself allows me to recharge my batteries, so to speak, and collect and organize my thoughts. I don’t want to spend ALL of my time alone, but I need solitude every day. Maybe you’re the polar opposite, and vastly prefer to have others by your side; that’s cool too. Just don’t take it personally the next time a friend isn’t up for hanging out. Maybe they just need some me-time.
Do you enjoy spending time alone? What do you like to do? Share with us in the comments below!