The art of being alone

The art of being alone

I’ve been meaning to do a post on this topic for quite some time, but I never felt like I got quite the right angle. I wrote about it some years ago when I first started my blog, but I haven’t addressed it since. The reason why I feel the need to write this blog post is because I want to share with you all why you don’t often see pictures on here of myself with other people. It’s not because I don’t know anyone, but on the one hand because I think taking pictures with other people all the time is unnecessary. And on the other hand, I simply like being by myself.

Let me be clear: there is a difference between going it alone and being lonely. Often times, when I report on having taken trips or doing things on my own, I am told that I am ‘brave’ and get questioned whether I’m not being ‘lonely’. Truth be told, doing something by yourself is something completely different from being or feeling lonely. I don’t feel brave for taking a 3 week trip by myself. To me, that is the most normal thing to do. My upcoming London trip will also be with just me, myself and I. Yet, I know that I will not feel lonely for one single minute.

Why you may ask? I simply love doing things by myself. I’ve always been someone to fly solo. I remember my mom sending me outside to go find my friends during summer holidays and also as a teen, I would go shopping without my friends. I just don’t see or feel the need to hang out with other people all the time. I am my best companion at most times and I never have this incessant need to share experiences with other people.

Sure thing, I do sometimes, but I can’t do it constantly. People can drive me crazy and I can easily get cranky if I don’t get enough me time. Everyone does of course, but I take it to a whole new level. I seem to need an equal amount me time compared to the time I spend with other people. Since I work a very people centered job, I seriously cannot see how anyone would enjoy to again be around more people once they get home. I just need my work out, or chilled evening without anyone asking me any questions or trying to make conversation.

One way this whole ‘going it alone’  thing came about is because I couldn’t find anyone who had the time or money to join me on my very first trip to New York when I was 19. I wanted to go and there was no one who could come with me. So I thought: why shouldn’t I just go by myself? And so I got on a plane and went. After that taste, it left me wanting more and so far most of my trip and especially my longest trips have been undertaken without a companion. I make very conscious decisions to not sit around and wait for people to make up their minds about going to a concert if I know I really want to go. I know people with many varying interests and since they do not always overlap I find it hard to get a group of people to come along and join me in my activities. Again, why let the concert get sold out because other people cannot make a timely decision?

The major benefit of traveling by yourself and doing other activities, is that you meet tons of new people. There is always someone to talk to no matter where you go and sometimes these very spontaneous meet ups, end up being the best time on your trip. Another thing I like about doing things by myself is that I get to do what I want, when I want it. It makes me feel free, because it allows me to do things my way and there is no one there to stop me. It’s also an easy way to get to know yourself better. Since there is no one there to help you, you need to rely on your own creativity and resourcefulness in whatever situation you encounter. As a result you build confidence and I feel I experience activities more fully because there is no one there to distract me.

Needless to say, I’ve been doing this for a long time. By now, it’s part of my natural behavior. I often don’t even bother to ask anyone to come along anymore. In fact, getting a group of people together to go and do something, now seems a hassle to me. I’m always glad when it works out though. Because the only reason why I love doing things by myself is because I know that if I really need someone, everyone is only a phone call away.

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8 thoughts on “The art of being alone

  1. Goed geschreven, gedurfd en heel eerlijk, ik herken hier veel van mijzelf in (en ook hoe mijn moeder mij altijd naar buiten stuurde of als ik naar school ging steeds zei dat ik veel vrienden moest gaan maken, waar ik eigenlijk helemaal geen behoefte aan had). Goed te weten dat er meer mensen zo zijn, en who care’s, it’s good to be happy with yourself! 🙂

  2. Goed stuk! Ik herken veel dingen hierin. Ik vind het heerlijk om alleen (of alleen met bf) te zijn en m’n eigen gang te gaan. Daarnaast vind ik het moeilijk om m’n aandacht te verdelen in grote groepen en het benauwd me vaak dat iedereen steeds wat anders wil. Helemaal de laatste jaren trek ik vaak mijn eigen plan. Als niemand mee wil dan niet, dan ga ik zelf wel 🙂

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