The Importance of Being Alone
Contributed by: @MDeeSimz
Being at a university where a bus journey costs £1.70, and required you to have change meant that walking became a huge part of my lifestyle. I walked to campus. I walked to town. I walked to church. I walked to people’s houses. I walked everywhere. At the time, I complained on a regular basis that I was developing thigh and calf muscles that I honestly didn’t think I needed, but in hindsight, those times of walking were definitely necessary. Why? In the hustle and bustle that was the final year of my degree, a nice chunk of my walks involved my Spotify playlist and myself. Yes, I was alone. And being alone on a regular basis gave me plenty of time to think.
The problem is that modern technology makes it hard to be alone. It means that even when you’re home alone, you’re also replying to five different group chats, retweeting that funny video or ‘@’ing’ a friend under something interesting you found on Instagram. You’re constantly ‘connected’ to the outside world and other people’s lives that you often forget to take some time out for yourself as well.
Now, I might be biased on this topic because I’m an introvert. It’s not in my nature to be out all day with various people without taking at least a day out for myself. Others who are extroverted might find the entire point of this post ridiculous and absurd but, I’m going to give you three reasons as to why time alone is super important to me and if you agree, you can either nod your head in agreement or choose to cast all of this aside.
So a few days ago, I was freaking out about the future and things going on in my life so I decided on a quick walk. As I was on this walk, I started a mental conversation with myself in my head. I asked myself why was I freaking out? Why was I feeling so doubtful? Now, you may find this a tad odd but honestly, there is power in conversation and explanation. Sometimes, you don’t make realisations until a question is asked and words come together and are expressed or thought of. Whenever I have my time alone-which is often when I’m out on a walk because my house is hardly ever quiet, I evaluate every aspect of my life. What are my immediate goals? Am I taking the right steps to reach these goals? Are my friends impacting me in the right way or is it time to take a step back from certain people?
It’s difficult to ask these kinds of questions when everyone is trying to contact you or you’re running up and down the country trying to get to this event or that function. Time alone gives you plenty of space to really think about your life and everything in it.
2. Relax and Recuperate
This point is largely related to the introverts out there and it’s something that I touched on previously. Time alone is also important because it encourages you to relax and recharge yourself. I, personally, CANNOT go out every single day with different people and still remain bubbly at the end of the week; it’s just not possible. Like I said before, I need at least a day. I need to let my guard down, relax and just have the opportunity to be by myself and on my own. Some people choose to go the spa or watch a movie at home in order to recuperate-it varies. But the most important part is just having a chilled day with, in the words of Beyoncé: Me, Myself and I.
I was watching a YouTuber the other day (Lydia Dinga), and she was discussing on the topic of doing things by herself. She reminisced on how she had once taken herself out to dinner and how, that particular night, she would be attending a comedy club without any company. A part of me was gobsmacked at this because it’s not often you hear someone tell you how they’ve done activities that are typically done in the company of others, on their own. However, I then realised that it meant that she was simply content and appreciative of her own company. She didn’t feel the need to have anyone else with her to make the evening exciting or fun; she was enough. She wasn’t dependent on anyone else for entertainment or a memorable evening-she had herself. Can you really say that you enjoy your own company? Or are you perhaps a little too dependent on others?
I think it’s important to point out that I’m not saying spend days and days away from your friends, family and colleagues-these people are definitely important and time spent with them is so precious. But from time to time, spend time on your own as well in order to evaluate your life, relax/recuperate and appreciate your own company.