I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person. Oscar Wilde
During the last seven days, people asked me a number of interesting questions – each of them worth a little consideration. The one question that struck me the most – simply because it’s a question that played a big role in my own life the past months and years – was the following: “How do you spend your time alone?”. It was asked by a friend who had to stay home for several days due to a severe cold. I immediately had some answers: I cook, or listen to some vinyl records or read or go running or sleep or do some gardening or watch series or play clarinet or … I appreciate to have time for myself.
As a kid, I loved to play alone in my room. I made up my own fantasy world when I played with Lego or -sometimes- with my dolls. Later, I could hang out for hours on my bed or on the lawn reading a good book. Again, I was captivated by another world and I didn’t care about the time or when I spoke the last time with another person. Then I was in a long-term relationship and after a few years that you spent together nearly every day, every weekend alone appeared like a special treat – a few hours to do whatever one liked to do. Solitude was never a problem. It was very welcome in my life and I always knew that a few hours alone with myself from time to time are a prerequisite for my happiness.
But then something changed: As a fresh single girl I suddenly was afraid of being alone with myself. First, because I was frightened to be brooding to much over the break-up and later I was frightend to feel lonely. Looking back, this is quite ironic, because I think this is the phase of my life where I was nearly never alone. I planned each day, I scheduled appointment after appointment. I networked, I went out to every social event possible, I traveled … a lot. I can understand anybody who claims having problems to be alone with himself. I spoke a lot about this problem with friends and family and the only thing I am able to say for sure is that everybody needs to be alone sometimes to get to know again the person he or she really is.
The problem after my long relationship was not that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I just forgot who I really was – maybe I just hadn’t enough time with myself the years before. I had to get to know myself again and to learn what I actually want to do with myself. This process took some time, but at a certain point I was just exhausted by my super-active life. I don’t regret this scheduled months – this time showed me that I need much more culture and traveling in my life than I would ever thought. But in between these trips, nowadays I try to find time for solitude as well. After all, everyone needs to know who he is when no one’s watching!
I wish you all a fantastic week with enough time for yourself!
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