A few days ago I was sitting at a bar alone having a much needed post-work cocktail, and jotting some thoughts down on a napkin when an an idea came up for my next post. At that moment I had realized two things:
2) I was very comfortable being in my own company.
How do our thoughts on being alone change over the years?
I asked a few women what their thoughts were on being alone versus feeling lonely. Their answers were enough to breathe the life into this post…
“I think having interests or hobbies are a good thing to keep your self growing as an individual. You are less likely to get lonely because you have something that interests you-something other than being with or around others all the time. Maybe also, people don’t like to be alone because they start thinking too much – anxiety, whatever it is, and they don’t like what’s going on upstairs – so they fill that void with people or entourage who are around all the time. I think for myself being comfortable in my own skin and being happy has a lot to do with ok being alone.“
“When I was younger (junior high and high school), I felt like being alone meant I was a loser, unpopular, unloved. As I got older and gained a stronger, more confident sense of self, I no longer felt that way. I could focus on myself and what I wanted to do, whether in a productive or leisurely way. I think the shift also has to do with knowing that I do have a strong support system, so that being alone feels like a choice.“
“When you can spend quality time alone with yourself, and come away with a sense of calm, hopefulness, and anticipating the next opportunity already… you internalize that too and begin to understand your worth… the value of being still with oneself…and then you take the time to take inventory of all of the wonderful qualities that add up to make you the unique, desirable creature you are. It’s then you realize that being alone is neither bad or good… it is a contingent choice that one makes. It is also then at that point, that upon retrospective review at some later point in life, you find that loneliness disappeared when confidence and choice took over.“
The quotes were taken from my Facebook group, and I appreciate their thoughtful replies.
In person, the women I spoke with gave thoughtful answers as well, and what I found is as they were replying I could see them sorting out their true feelings on what it personally meant for them to be alone. I could hear in their voices the “aha” moment of realizing how being alone has changed for them over the years…in a good way, and the commonality between all the responses:
As age and confidence goes up-so does the comfortableness of being alone. In fact, as we get older we need time alone, for various reasons. One Calla gal said over the years she has known her preference for being alone, and used to wonder what was “wrong” with her, but as her confidence went up she eventually accepted it as a part of her personality. As she finished up her reply-I sensed a feeling of relief.
You might wonder what I think. Maybe not. I’ll proceed assuming the first one.
What I think is if I could not be content and even enjoy hanging out with myself then that must mean I feel I am not enough. And I don’t.
Because over the years as I have actualized my wonderful worth, and how precious time is I have come to appreciate these solo moments-such as having a drink alone at a bar, writing about life on a napkin…