What I Learned From Being Alone for Two Weeks

being alone

I’m never afraid of being by myself. In my apartment, at a movie, in a restaurant, strolling through the streets. I don’t feel an enormous empty when I’m enjoying life on my own. On the contrary. Late in November, my husband left for two weeks, on a work trip. At first I was a bit anxious, picturing myself every single day doing things alone. But after a few days, I settled into this newly (pleasant) found reality.

I’ve always been extremely introverted. Even though I have a lot of friends back home, time by myself is always something I deeply appreciate. My brother left for university when I was only 10, so I spent all of my teenage years by myself – sort of speak. I knew how to be alone. And that later translated into spending time in my room, writing in my diary, listening to The Corrs and Britney Spears.

In college, I always studied by myself. Was never the type to go to a coffee shop and study in a group. And when teachers asked if we wanted to do group or individual projects, I often chose individual. There’s nothing wrong with it, in theory. But in reality, the only thing that actually scares me is, how good I got at being alone. Even when me and M started living together, I wanted things my way. Often forgetting there was someone else sharing the space.

And then New York happened. And here I found myself, again, spending the majority of my days by myself. Being alone, I could feel the wheels turning and life passing through. I still do. And all I want is to fight my natural acquired instinct of functioning better alone. That’s why I try to say yes to as many things as possible and embrace group activities – like taking a course, going to a workout class, an exhibition. All things I’ve also done by myself but feel a lot better when shared.

While I was by myself, I felt the need to look for people more often. I wrote to friends, went to the movies, plays, out to dinner, drinks. It felt good to source out the company and find it somewhere else other than our apartment. It honestly taught me to reach out more and ask for the companionship. There’s no harm in calling, texting and reaching out. Just make sure you do, because they might appreciate it as much and see you in a different way.

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