So I just started watching Girls – have you guys seen it? Guess I’m like 4 years late to the game! But man, Lena Dunham is such a badass babe – writing, directing, producing + acting in the show. Say, what?
In one of the first episodes Jessa is described in this way, “She’s just really. . . here.” It struck me that I’d love to be described that way – as “here,” as completely present. I’d like to be described that way more than anything else I think. And I believe a huge part of learning this skill is learning to be with yourself, to be alone.
Alright babes, here are three things that being alone teaches me :
Being alone gives me the opportunity to practice being present. I once read that an excellent way to practice being “here” is to simply focus on your task at hand, and that task alone – even when it comes to say, eating. So this morning I headed out to Dough Mama for some quiche + coffee. I sat with my book and my coffee for a bit, but upon my quiche’s arrival I gave it my absolute attention. I savored each and every bite, resisting the urge to pick up my phone or pick up my book. I’m pretty sure I tasted things more distinctly than normal – because I simply focused on the experience. (And maybe because Dough Mama is the shit.) The hope is that then, in my next conversation, my next experience, I’ll notice the details, the texture, the vibe. I think that’s what being present is all about.
Being alone is also totally rad because it gives me the opportunity to do something I want without restriction. I was in the mood for coffee and quiche this morning, I had the cash, so I went for it. Having the mindset that being alone isn’t weird is pretty key here. It may take a while for this idea to stick – but like anything, it takes practice.
Being alone leaves room for spontaneous interaction. You may run into an old friend, you may meet a new one. Lose the idea that being alone means being lonely.
What was super fun about my most recent morning alone was that I ended up noticing two other women spending time alone – one with a journal, the other with her brunch. I was proud of them and of me. It was affirmation to me that being alone can be totally magical, and energy giving for a lot of us. So hey, I’d like to challenge you to give it a go, if it’s something that you haven’t tried. You wanna go to the movies? Go. Grab a Manhattan? Go. Do whatcha want. It can be so good for you.
How does being alone challenge or energize you? I’d love to hear your stories, too.