Being alone gets a bad rap doesn't it?
We are supposed to be with others. It is "good" for us to interact with people. Socializing is the anecdote to lonliness. We have been told these things our whole life. And God forbid if you are depressed and alone. What you need is a party!
Maybe the super extravert is cheered up by circuses and dinner parties but not me.
Yes it is important to be with people...connect...not totally isolate. But on the other hand some of my most peaceful moments have been alone.
In my early twenties I ended a bad relationship. At the same time I had just landed my first good job. I felt strong, independent, and alone. Most people might associate "alone" with lonely or sad. At this time in my life it was neither. Being alone meant freedom.
My ex-partner hated anything cultural. And by "culture" I mean even the local library. I had stifled my interests, hobbies, and self for another person. Once out of this stifling relationship, it was like walking out of a darkened theater into the sunlight. I felt blinded by choices.
I could buy the ice-cream flavor I wanted. I could take my time browsing for books at the local used book store. There was nobody to scoff at my movie choices or my interest in baroque music. I could just be me. But even at this young age I had forgotten who that was.
My first act of independence was to visit the city museum. I would pass it most days in going to work but I would never go because I had nobody to go with me. But on that day I relished the idea of trapsing through the vast museum all by myself.
I still remember that day and how good I felt. I could go at my pace and take time to savor the beauty of the sculptures, art, and tapestries. At this musuem they had minature dollhouses with intricate little furniture all encased behind glass. As I peered through the glass I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Except I was becoming more real. There was also a furniture exhibit, something which would bore the tears from most people but I found enchanting. Old wooden desks and chairs from the 18th century seemed to stand still in time. At one time a writer would sit and ponder their aloneness while sitting in such a chair. The feelings and words would pour forth at the desk with ink and paper. Now the wood was bare and stripped of human contact but the residue of memories still lingered...to be imagined by us passersby.
I didn't feel weird or awkward being alone in the museum. I felt at peace amongst all the objects and artifacts. I felt at home.
Alone doesn't have to mean lonely. It can be peaceful, freeing, and even blissful. In the midst of depression alone time can grant me clarity and peace of mind. It isn't such a bad thing. Not at all.
My diary writing is for a specific purpose. It is to get you to write too. Share your stories and experiences here. How do you feel about alone time? We want to hear from you.
Published On: July 06, 2011