Alone time. Just say it aloud. Aloooooone time. When I think of time without other humans, I always imagine a tropical beach… like the Maldives or something. I can just picture me with a great book, my headphones in, cocktail nearby. Maybe a bowl of grapes. Ahhhh yes. Alone time.
I’ve been spending a lot of time alone lately. I can promise it looks pretty much nothing like the beachy image I was thinking of. In actuality, alone time looks like a lot of different things, usually all taking place in my home. Also usually with a party pizza and a hefty supply of La Croix. Sometimes I clean my house, the rest of the time I am usually messing it up so I can clean it again. The other night I sewed my socks. Yeah.
As an introvert, my self-imposed alone time is one of my favorite things; key phrase: self imposed. I’ve been going through a well of self-examination lately, all pertaining to my intense fear of abandonment and being alone. From the lens of the past, I can see how this fear has impacted my decisions in my young adult life and led me to stay in relationships where I wasn’t happy and felt like I was settling. It’s led me to act in ways that I’m not very proud of and that have probably hurt my various s/o’s throughout the years. In my present, this alone time is like a rollercoaster, but the good news is that the hills are becoming less steep as time wears on. I spend a lot of time thinking about how a person who has never been alone won’t ever really be able to draw on that experience or actually appreciate the time in life when they aren’t alone.
I’ve started coming up with all kinds of activities and mechanisms for handling being alone. Sometimes it’s surprisingly refreshing, talking to your dog. Things like Netflix, cleaning, writing in a journal, making lists, reading, grocery shopping, all help me pass the time. Occasionally it even feels like I might be enjoying the time, rather than just passing it. Sometimes I am alone and it’s so overwhelming that I just lay in bed and cry. Most of the time I think a lot.
My goal is to keep spending a lot of time alone. I want to develop a routine around being alone and just existing. I keep thinking how one day, alone time might feel more like the norm than some foreign place that I happen to be staying in.
How do you spend your time alone? Is it painful or welcome?