Being Alone, and Being Comfortable With It

Being alone: a phrase that usually has a negative connotation to it. Alone is associated with lonely, and for the most part, people do not like to be lonely or be described as it. However, being alone does not have to have to carry the negative stigma that it does. If you want to be alone, just do it. No shame, no stigma, no FOMO (fear of missing out). While transitioning through different stages in life, taking time to be by yourself can seem like a missed opportunity with friends or making other connections. I understand the feeling of missing out by not spending time with other people. Thoughts like  "how is my time useful if other people are not around to observe it?" or "maybe other people are off creating better connections and bonds, and I have just fallen behind". All of those thoughts are completely understandable, but definitely not necessary. Adjusting to giving myself alone time has made me a more confident person with a deeper sense of self-understanding. I do have to say, from a young age I was fortunate enough to understand the importance of being alone and how it can come without shame. 

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Here is how I became comfortable with being alone: 

1. Understanding I was good enough all by myself 

Personally, when I found myself alone, I often questioned what I was doing with my time. Was it valuable time spent? What do other people think of me when I am not being social? Or did they think of me at all when I am not there? However, these thoughts did not haunt me long when I realized I did not really care what others thought. Am I enjoying my time alone? Yes. Do I recognize the time I was taking for myself? Yes. Will the people who truly care about me still be there for me? Yes. It seemed like a win-win situation. The only thing I needed to understand was I loved the person who I was and investing time into her only helped me perpetuate that. 

2. Valuing others opinions, but my own more 

I find a principle reason why people might fear being alone is the worry of what other people might think. The fear of being judged is something that holds a lot of people back from doing what they want to do. Dare I say it is not a foreign concept to most people. However, the easiest way to ignore judgment and do what you want to do is by putting your opinion at the forefront of importance. It is not the easiest thing to do, but also far from impossible. 

3. Finding direction 

If other people are anything like I am, then you may have uncertainties about the future. I know I often find myself thinking about what my next step is, or if the path I am on is the best direction for me. However, having time alone is one sure way for me to know what truly want. No other people influencing my decision - just me and my thoughts. I know it might sound strange to some people to not understand be able to completely understand my own thoughts, especially when I am with myself 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and for the past eighteen years. However, whenever I dive into my own thoughts and feelings I find my mind can change drastically depending on the people I am around or when I am just - alone. 

4. Being alone is a luxury 

If you live at college or just in a busy household, you know it is not often to have uninterrupted alone time. Personally, I find alone time as a gift. Especially living in an environment where it can be few and far apart. Not everyone is afforded the luxury of having their own home or apartment, or hey even their own room. Therefore, I find alone time becomes a lot more appreciated when someone realizes how lucrative it can be. 

5. Knowing when I am alone, I am never truly alone 

If up until this point I sound like a very sad person with no one to turn to, I promise this is not true. I enjoy the company of good friends and family just as much as the next person. With that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being extroverted and enjoying free time with loved ones. However, going off of that, whenever I am alone I know I am never truly alone. It helps to know whenever I am enjoying some alone time I will always have people by my side whenever I need them. These people are my family, and most cherished and loved friends. They understand me, and whenever I am feeling a bit introverted I am able to enjoy time by myself and the people whom I love (and love me) understand that and allow me my time. 

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Overall, having the confidence to be alone is truly just about loving yourself. Often times I find myself having more confidence when I do activities on my own. It is a way of showing the security I have in myself in a public way. Going to the gym alone is no longer scary. Grabbing lunch by myself - peaceful! Cuddling up in my bed to watch Netflix movies - actually incredibly enjoyable!