Being Alone Doesn't Equal Loneliness

I don’t even know if I can think straight after what I just witnessed on Breaking Bad, but I’m going to try! I’ve been spending a lot of time alone lately, since Chris works most weekends and I have a whopping three friends in Syracuse. Since I’m an only child I actually like spending time alone, but there are definitely some moments when I start to feel bad for myself. However I just read an interesting quote that helped me to reposition the way I see my solo time. It goes a little something like this:

Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books, live with the mighty. But learn to be happy alone. Rely upon your own energies, and so not wait for, or depend on other people.

While being alone all the time isn’t ideal, it’s important to realize that there is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.  While it might be fun to have a friend to shop with or go to yoga with, it’s also possible to head somewhere solo and not feel self-conscious or bored. In fact, time alone can actually be relaxing and important for self-discovery. Making conversation with a friend while you get a coffee is great, but there’s also a lot to be said for just spending some time with your own thoughts. Many people assume that being alone is something you have to do when no one is available to hang out with. In reality, it’s a powerful choice that you can make for yourself.

The other day I got done with work early and decided to get a manicure by myself. I normally go with another person, so I was surprised by how relaxing the experience was. While it might have been nice to pick out colors with a friend or my mom, I really enjoyed being able to sit, decompress, and zone out without having to worry about making conversation. I could do what I wanted to do after, and didn’t have to feel bad if the process was taking a while. I realized that there’s an important kind of power that you feel when you make a conscious choice to do something alone and then enjoy it, instead of worrying about looking like a friendless loser.

I’m anticipating a lot of solo time when I move down to Charlotte and work on building up a network. While I don’t want to be by myself too much (not really healthy) I’m also looking forward to having some time to analyze this adventure on my own.

Do you enjoy spending some time by yourself?

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