Spending time alone can seem daunting, especially when you’re eating alone. When was the last time you ate at a restaurant by yourself and felt completely comfortable with it? Society has taught us that we should be socializing and doing thing in big groups. BlackBerry and iPhone ads constantly use ‘the sociable teen’ as an example to show off all the features their phones have to alert everyone “where da party’s @.” I’m here to tell you that , sometimes, being alone, is, like, totally rad. And I’m not just saying that to justify, to myself, that being a loner is cool. If Keanu can do it, so can I!
We have a million-and-one things going on in our everyday lives, that sometimes, we often don’t feel. Whether it’s the worst of the pains or the best of the joys, it’s difficult to decipher emotions when there’s so much running through your head. One of my favourite books, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra says that we have to experience stillness before being able to find our desires.
“Imagine throwing a little stone into a still pond and watching it ripple…That’s exactly what you do when you go into the field of pure silence and introduce your intention. In this silence, even the faintest intention will ripple across the underlying ground of universal consciousness, which connects everything with everything else. But, if you do not experience stillness in consciousness, if your mind is like a turbulent ocean, you could throw the Empire State Building into it, and you wouldn’t notice a thing.”
Every now and then, switch your phone to silent, leave your iPod at your desk, put on a jacket, and go for a lone walk to clear your head.
I’m a big coffee drinker. Even if I’ve already had my morning joe, my body naturally gravitates to the nearest JJ Bean I see. I just love the taste of coffee. The benefit of being alone is that there’s no awkward moment by the cash register when you have to say to your friend(s), “Oh yeah, order what you want. It’s on me.” You can order your darn Americano, sit by the window and solve that Sudoku puzzle that you’ve been working on for the last three days. Buy your own coffee.
Whenever I have things that I need to buy or even if I’m just casually shopping, I find it is so difficult to purchase anything when you’re with others. You’ll try something on, but your friends (being the true friends that they are) offer their honest opinion—you know, the opinions that you’re supposed to cherish and put in keepsakes. So you end up trying on something else because they don’t like it. Before you know it, you’ve left the store frustrated and empty-handed because you can’t seem to please anyone. If you’re alone, you don’t have to deal with opinions. You buy whatever you want and wear it proud.
One of the benefits of being alone is working around your own schedule. If you want to spend two hours freeloading off of Chapters’ magazine section, then do it. If you want to sit at home and watch a full season of FRIENDS, I’d say why the hell not! Being alone, you don’t have to work around anyone’s schedule but your own. No one is rushing you, nor is there anyone you need to rush. Take as long as you want, and when you’re done, move on to the next.
Don’t be self-conscious about being alone. Everybody’s too caught up in their own mess to make judgments about you being a loner. So go off and enjoy the day by yourself and come back to your friends the next day refreshed. What’s that saying? “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? I wouldn’t know; I’m always alone.