If you know anything about me, you know that I am not good at being alone. I constantly yearn for someone to spend time with because that’s just how much I hate being by myself. This summer has tested me. I’ve had a pretty unconventional work schedule, which does not match up nicely with those of my friends. This leaves me spending most days by myself, whether it’s working or trying to find something to do with my day.
Luckily, I am spending my summer in New York City, which might be the best place to be alone because there is just so much to do in the city, whether it’s exploring a new neighborhood, visiting a museum, seeing a show, watching a movie with my MoviePass app (would definitely recommend getting this if you like seeing movies and live in a big city), going to stand-up comedy, visiting a rooftop bar, trying out a new place to eat, finding locations from your favorite TV shows and movies, and so much more.
Every day that I decide that I am going to do something with my day when I am not working is a slow start, and I always find myself procrastinating leaving my apartment because I don’t want to commit to spending a day by myself in the outside world. I wish I could understand why. Maybe I am insecure about what people might think about me if I eat at a restaurant alone, but if I have learned anything in the past couple of years, it’s that no one cares. Most people are self-centered and think that everyone cares about what they’re doing, but those too busy focusing on themselves.
I tested my ability to be alone while on a recent vacation at the beach. Due to scheduling conflicts, I was alone at the beach for a couple of days. To most people, this might sound like a dream: a relaxing time listening to the waves with absolutely no cares in the world. This is a stressful situation for me. I hate sitting down for a long time because then I feel like I am missing out on things. I become restless. Having no car also meant limited availability, but riding a bike is always a freeing feeling on the flat streets of Bethany Beach, Delaware.
During my days alone in New York or my vacation alone, I found comfort in writing, whether it be in my journal or book of poems and song lyrics. It also is a great opportunity to reach out to friends that you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while. During my daily walk on the beach, I ran into a friend from high school and she invited me to hang out with her and her friends.
All in all, being alone can be disappointing or empowering – it all really just depends on how you look at it. Seeing a movie alone is one of my favorite activities, but eating alone at a restaurant stresses me out (I’m still working on that one). However, I do think that it is inevitable and is something we all should learn to do.
Are you strong enough to be alone?