Resolutions a Little Late — The Art of Being Alone

I keep finding new New Years Resolutions I should add to my list. I suppose “Resolutions” on the New Year are just full of false hopes. Nobody keeps them past January without some serious self restraint. I like the idea of trying to better yourself without some sort of magical start date.

At least, that’s a better excuse as to why I haven’t yet made it to the gym… my resolution shouldn’t start with the New Year dammit give me some time… heh. Next week? Maybe?

Anyway. The resolution I’m thinking of now is one I keep telling myself I need to work on: Learning to be by myself. I’m terrible at it. I can never just sit still and relax and enjoy a night in with a book–particularly if it’s a weekend. If I’m not out running around and DOING something I get anxious and can often work myself up into a panic of WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS NOBODY LOVES ME IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME AAAAGGGHHH! I won’t see a movie I am dying to see if I can’t drag someone with me. Won’t go to a new restaurant without a friend.

Yeaaaah that’s really gotta stop. There’s nothing wrong with having fun by yourself, not surrounded by people or a boyfriend or whatever. I can sit in on a Saturday night with a glass of wine and a good book, that is OKAY TO DO.

I thought of this when I found the following video

It’s quite good advice. I think I’ll read this over a few times and try to embed it into my brain.

The poem it uses is below:

HOW TO BE ALONE by Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.

There’s also the gym. If you’re shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in (guitar stroke). 

And there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places. 

And there’s prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously (electric guitar plucking) based on your avoid being alone principals. 

The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they — like you — will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone. 

When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less intriguing a person when you’re eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community. 
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor till the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching…because, they’re probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there’re always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might’ve never happened had you not been there by yourself

Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.

You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one’s in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept. 

Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you’re happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be releived, keeps things interesting lifes magic things in reach. 

And it doesn’t mean you’re not connected, that communitie’s not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn’t get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it. 

you could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it
If your heart is bleeding make the best of it 
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

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