I can just imagine the look of stress on my mom’s face as she receives an email notification that I’ve written another blog on me being alone. Let me quell your fears right away — It’s OK Mom, everything is fine and we have not broken up.
In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. This time around I am learning that there is a new kind of being alone, the kind that you schedule and choose very carefully. The kind that is infinitely more challenging when you’re in a happy, loving relationship in a city full of things to see and places to eat and and friends (!) … did I mention I have those too! It’s kind of well…overwhelming. Both in a very good way (believe me I’m grateful) but also in a how-do-I-balance-all-this-and-still-go-to-the-gym-kind-of-way?!
So here we go with my biggest realization as of late: my time living on Long Island should more accurately be described as my time in isolation, not my time spent alone. I didn’t know that there was a difference until I had something to compare it with, but this is what isolation looked like for me.
Scrolling for hours and hours through social media because I missed all my friends and even randoms I didn’t even really care too much to know how they were doing.
Crying after coming home from a fantastic weekend of visiting people and feeling the heavy void of them not being there.
Being in bed on a Friday night at 9pm because I couldn’t think of anything better to do with my time, warming my heating pad up and calling it my “boyfriend” because it was heavy enough to mimic human contact.
These were some of the down sides, but I’ve also written extensively on the positives — I learned a whole lot about what I do to entertain myself when I am isolated. The list includes but is not limited to:
- Getting tipsy and playing 9 holes of golf by myself
- Going for a long walk at the beach in the winter time
- Learning to dance the tango
- Learning to kick box
- Taking myself out to restaurants
- Going on a string of ridiculous first dates
- Shopping — lots of shopping
And above all, I did a lot of reflecting. There was a lot of laying around on my yoga mat, deep-breathing through challenges and grappling with feelings of longing for a more active and interesting lifestyle. But don’t get me wrong, I did settle in some. I made a few really important friendships and I quieted myself down from my usual warp-speed pace. And you know what? By the end of it all… I was actually really grateful that I got to have those experiences. And I was also like, really fit. Which was cool.
And so now, looking back it feels almost crazy how quickly I’ve accelerated. I went from 0-60 practically over night. And with 9 months under my belt, I am starting to crave some quiet again and I realize that I have to make that time for myself. That I have to choose it and I have to honor it.
I need to take time to reflect more and to be alone. The alone that I choose for myself. The alone that is the opposite of isolated. The alone that feels so decadent and healthy and re-energizing. The alone that feels so good.
So all of this just to say, there will be more here soon. This is one of my favorite outlets of reflection myself and it’s been a while. But I am back and I have so much to say.