“We need to remember and to teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone, at times it is positively to be wished for. It is in the interludes between being in company that we talk to ourselves. In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves.” Maya Angelou
The one thing I desire…more than mini pies or someone to make me coffee or having a dancer’s body…is solitude. I used to confuse solitude with loneliness. Solitude is making the choice to be by yourself. To choose solitude over companionship. Whether that’s when you’re traveling, watching a movie, eating a meal…whatever.
Loneliness looks like codependency BUT also isolation. I’ve always felt more alone in rooms full of people than I have by myself. When I’m in a bad mental state, I’ll say yes to more social situations. To more companionship. I enter this people-pleasing mode where soon I realize I haven’t had time to myself all week.
That’s how you end up in the hole, my friends. By not paying attention to your needs. The million dollar question is…how can you pay attention to your needs if you don’t spend time with yourself? How do you balance spontaneous living with planned moments of solitude? OK, that was two questions.
That solitude life is hard because it’s easy to be misunderstood. People stop inviting you to things because duh…you never show up. Please, keep inviting the people who never show up! They will show up one of the times and it will be a real good time.
Solitude feels like something you have to apologize for. You carry around guilt and shame for not wanting to be around people a good amount of the time. Trust me, you’re going to enjoy being around me much more if I’ve had time to myself. Otherwise, I’m a miserable asshole.
I can’t explain why this past week kicked my ass other than a guess I didn’t get any down time. That, and the hopelessness current life chapters bring: dating, struggling creative projects, money. I’ve made up for it by ignoring all my phone calls and making sure my snooze button works by pressing it 10X A MORNING. I also deleted all my dating profiles but LOL, what’s new.
Be true to yourself. If you need solitude, then you must have it. Stop saying yes but meaning no. It always ends the same: waiting until one minute before you’re supposed to be somewhere to give a weird but honest explanation about why you can no longer honor your yes and hoping the person doesn’t totally hate you.
I’m taking time to lay low this week. I’ll leave room for life to surprise me, but it better not get in the way of my 9:45 bedtime. I hope you’re able to do something of the same for yourself, you magical creature, you!