My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude. —Warsan Shire
This is something I'm accustomed to.
Growing up we, my siblings and I, were often left alone for hours on end.
It wasn't neglect, it was an allowance.
An allowance to discover, to play, to explore, to create, to be.
I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't been allowed that time of self discovery and becoming, at such a young age.
I was put in the creative mindset simply by being left alone. I had to learn to figure things out on my own, be resourceful, come up with new solutions to problems and create things of my own accord and so I did.
As I've grown older I realize how rare a quality and ability that is, and as a result it's one I'm more so thankful for possessing.
I don't shy away from doing things by myself. Traveling, eating out, going to the movies, exploring, shopping, going to concerts, and many other pastimes that often are seen as a you-do-this-with-someone sort of activity.
I even live alone, which is something I've discovered is such a foreign and strange idea for so many people. Something I was unaware of until I did it.
I'm not saying living alone is for everyone, it's definitely not, and personalities and preferences differ greatly from person to person. But I do think it's important to learn how to be alone. To enjoy it. Because who's with you more often than... well, you? If you don't like spending time with yourself, why would others? This is a cheesy way to look at it sure, but hopefully you get my point.
I think it's an underestimated trait in a person. To be content in ones own skin and abilities to the extent of not needing to rely on others for your centering and "okay-ness" and sense of worth.
Of course you can swing too far in that direction and then be closed off from people, relationships, and community completely which is something I'm definitely not abdicating for by any means.
However, I think the stronger and more sure of yourself you are alone, the more capable you are of adding value to those relationships and communities you are in.
Because it's not others, their presence or opinions, that make up our worth and value. And I think we can often forget that when we're constantly surrounded by people.
"Curiously, and importantly, mastering the art of solitude doesn’t make us more antisocial but, to the contrary, better able to connect. By being intimate with our own inner life— that frightening and often foreign landscape that philosopher Martha Nussbaum so eloquently urged us to explore despite our fear— frees us to reach greater, more dimensional intimacy with others."
The above quote is from this article on how to be alone which I ask you to please please please read.
It has far more eloquent and making-more-sense thoughts than mine on this subject. It's one I wholeheartedly agree with and re-read often ever since coming across it.
This quote on cherishing your solitude is one I blogged three years ago but also still relevant.
Feel free to share your thoughts on any of this.
I'd love to hear them.