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On Being Alone (from an unexpected introvert)

March 4, 2011

Most of you who read this blog know a few things about me: I’m a bit touched in the head, I’m creative, I’m involved in the world and I’m not afraid to stumble and fail.

Something that only the closest to me know is this: I really, really like being alone.

Being alone allows me to remind myself of who I am and what I’ve done. There is something liberating about eating alone, seeing a movie alone or traveling alone.

Be brave- eat alone and don’t hide behind the newspaper. Be confident in who and what you are. Present yourself wholly to the world and bravely take what is given to you. When the hostess questions your choice of “One, please,” feel bad for her. She obviously doesn’t know the feeling of calm and peace that will pervade your whole being as you watch the world happening around you. Go to the movies by yourself- let yourself become wholly enmeshed in the story and don’t be afraid to laugh out loud or cry as hard as you can.

On Sunday afternoon, I’m boarding a plane for Greece for a week-long trip by myself. I don’t know if you have experienced traveling alone. You should- this is something that your life needs to be complete. When you are truly alone with yourself, you find out as many things about yourself as you do the place around you.

How wonderful would it be to simple be in the moment in the place you are in? Walk down the comfortably worn cobbles in Paris and stop and look at the vista before you for as long as you desire without a companion getting antsy or bored, asking to move on. This is your schedule, your experience. Be silent for the whole week but to ask directions in a fumbling new language and eat only local food- and if you don’t like it, order something new. Be completely honest with yourself.

This is hard; I will not deny that. To wake up only with yourself every day is terrifying. It requires bravery and a willingness to accept who and what you are and what you’ve done- good and otherwise. Travel alone is not for the timid or weak-constitutioned. This is not my first trip alone- I’ve been on dozens, but in the morning, and before I sleep, I will still have to confront the reality of  oneness. It does not get easier to be so frank with yourself, but it also does not get harder.

I beg of all of you: embrace.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 4, 2011 1:37 pm

    As someone else who needs my alone time, I can completely relate to this post. I think you might like this video: It speaks to many of the points you made in your post about embracing being alone. It is one of my favorites!

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