Monday, May 28, 2012

Being Alone...

Do you ever take a day for some you time? Take some time to spend with nobody but yourself? Does it excite you to think of time away from anyone and anything other than your own thoughts? To think of being totally alone?

I do, and it does.

I’m not entirely sure as to why, but my comfort with solitude seems to put me in a distinguished minority. I can really only speak from experience with people that have touched my life, but I think the idea will translate well to the rest of the world. At the very least, it will speak well of us American folk.

We just don’t like to be alone, do we? Keeping to ourselves has never been our strong suit, but being by ourselves tends to drive many people to madness.

Perhaps it is a more recent development. As technology progresses and we find ourselves constantly linked to email, social networking and the like, I can see how it’s difficult to even find yourself alone at all. And believe me; I take part in all of the interconnectedness the internet and smart phones has provided just as much as anyone else. One of my most recent investments was actually an external battery pack specifically designed to charge devices with a micro usb port. That’s for my android. My phone is kept handy for seemingly endless strings of text conversations, an occasional phone call, facebook status updates, emails, and I’ve even started getting into twittering. Tweeting? Twitterizing? You know? It’s that thing with the little blue bird and the tiny snippets about my life that nobody reads anyway.

Whatever. The point is that even someone like me who does enjoy being alone from time to time can find themselves swept up in the techno-frenzy of today. It can be quite overwhelming.

That is why I seek out solitude. I enjoy setting aside time for my own projects. Taking time to write down my thoughts and get to know myself on my own terms. I feel wonderful after spending time in silent meditation (or not so silent if I can work up a good playlist on itunes). Cooking a meal just for me makes me happy and saves others from some of my personal tastes.

I don’t always have to be alone when I’m alone either. Let’s take today for example. Hours of my day were spent in the people packed subway system. Many more hours were spent walking through Central Park. I tipped a street performance troupe, bought a hotdog, and took pictures for people who needed an extra pair of hands. My entire day was spent being around people, but it was my day of exploring by myself. Everyone else just happened to be there.

It’s funny. In a place like New York City where the population is so dense that even Atom Ant would find it difficult not to bump into someone, I’m actually finding it easier to be alone than anywhere else I’ve lived. There seems to be an unspoken rule here along the lines of ‘mind your own damn business.’ I think it will be a challenge to break the cycle of being alone. And I’m sure I can manage that just fine, but I appreciate that I have somewhere I can slip into being invisible whenever I feel the need.

That’s really all being alone is: temporary invisibility. Nobody is there to watch you and comment or even think on your actions. No one can influence you if they can’t see you. I think it’s important to have some invisible time and recharge your pure fundamental you-ness.

On this the day of Monday Fun, I would ask that you plan out some time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, especially if you aren’t totally comfortable being alone. Set aside even five minutes to just be with your thoughts. It’s healthy.

And who knows? You just might learn something new about yourself you never knew was there.

Happy Monday Fun Day.


  1. Now I picture New York City as filled with invisible people.