“How to be Alone”

“…lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.” – Tanya Davis (Poet/Singer/Songwriter)

A big part of this “someday file” project  is re-learning to be alone, re-discovering the joy in quiet moments, having independent adventures, & channeling energy inward without relying on anyone else. A former student shared this video at the exact moment I needed to see it, and  it really struck a chord with me as a reminder of how energizing alone time can actually be:

As a highly social being and hardcore extrovert (maybe to a fault), being alone doesn’t come naturally to me, but at different points in my life, I have been fiercely independent, introspective, and probably a better person for it, so I need to make being alone more of a priority. Watching this video was a reminder to me of how much I actually enjoy “choosing my own adventures,” spending time with myself, and allowing myself to just be in the world, which is a pretty amazing place to be.

Reflecting back, some of my greatest adventures have been solo ones, and most resulted in a human connection of some kind even if I was at first “alone”:

1) flying to Boston in 2008 where I didn’t know a soul and discovered the CouchSurfing community – which ultimately changed the course of my whole life and built my confidence in a way few things ever have

2) road-tripping out to the DC-area with a carload full of stuff and an internship lined up without knowing anyone in the area – visiting monuments, spending hours on weekends writing & day-dreaming at Busboys & Poets, swimming laps for the 1st time in years and enjoying the intensely peaceful quiet experience of being underwater, going to an underground beer bar by myself just to see what it was all about

3) being set-up on “blind friendship dates” whenever I visit a new city so I can make connections and sometimes lifelong friends – maybe this doesn’t count as fully being “alone” but to me, everything comes back to human connection eventually (spoken like a true extrovert)

4) movie-going alone – it truly is “dark & soothing” – and has become one of my favorite ways to spend downtime, plus you never have to consult with anyone about what to see, which theater to go to, and what time works best

5) taking a chance and moving 600-miles away for my 1st big kid job – which changed my career path for the better and resulted in some of the most amazing friendships I’ve ever known

As I get closer to someday, I hope to authentically embrace the spirit of alone-ness and learn to take responsibility for my own happiness – something I know I can do, I just need to re-learn how and remember that “…if you’re happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.”

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