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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The benefits of being alone

Recently I read a blog post titled: "Continuing the Conversation" leaving fear behind. It really resonated with me. Author Debbi said:

"Everything I wrote yesterday could have been summed up by simply stating I was afraid to be alone. I guess the deeper lesson I learned from my female forebears is that no matter how bad it is, it's better to be with someone than to be by yourself, to be dependent instead of independent.

So. Not. True."

I couldn't agree more. I'd rather be alone and happy than with someone and miserable.

I love to travel, go to special events and dine out alone.

At the risk of sounding anti-social I will share that embracing aloneness is something I mastered fairly early in life. There are so many benefits and very few drawbacks. What's the downside? That people, complete strangers, think you don't have any friends? Who cares what they think? You shouldn't.
  • Dinner: Table for one? That would be me, eating where I want at the time I want enjoying my meal with some quiet time to reflect.
  • Movies: I love seeing movies with friends but I also love seeing them alone. I can see the show I want at my favorite time of day (weekday matinees) when the theater is less crowded and tickets are cheaper.
  • Shopping: I'm not much of a shopper so I love shopping alone. I can go exactly where I need to go and get out.
  • Travel: One of the best times I've had in my entire life was the week I spent touring Paris, France all by my lonesome. I'd flown over with a friend who was there on business but during the day when she was in meetings I was on my own from breakfast to dinner. I loved it so much I think it may have ruined traveling to Paris again with anyone else because the experience was so great I can't help but feel at your own pace is the best way to see the city. I've told hubby if we ever go we can spend alternate days together. LOL. I want the best of both worlds.
  • Concerts: In 1995 I flew to Tacoma, Washington to see the Eagles in concert. . . Alone. That night I was only able to get one ticket with a halfway decent location so I went and it was great. I mean at a concert you're not talking during the show anyways.
  • Museums: I think viewing art at your own pace, is the best way to enjoy a museum. I can spend a minute or an hour in front of a single piece and it effects no one. I hate feeling rushed or guilty which are usually the two options if you try to walk through a museum with another person.
  • BalletLast year I went to the ballet for the first time, alone. Because I was a by myself I was able to get a much better seat than if I had to find two seats together. Plus why make hubby suffer and go with me to something he has no interest in seeing?
  • Networking: Going to a business networking event alone is no problem. I'm guaranteed to meet more new people than if I were to go with a friend.
So you can see, there really isn't a downside to going out and doing things alone. In fact there are a lot of bonuses. Perhaps the biggie of aloneness though is living alone. . .  Well, I've always loved that too. Everything is where you last put it. Nobody is making a mess, your food doesn't disappear, if you want quiet you have quiet but if you want company you can always invite someone over or go out. I've also loved having roommates and being married but the point is it's possible to also equally love living alone just as much. One isn't better than the other, they're just different.

Perhaps the scariest part of being alone is that you don't have a second income to fall back on, but money comes and goes and being with someone is no guarantee you'll be more financially secure than if you're by yourself. A fiscally irresponsible roommate, partner, or spouse can cause you more financial headaches than they solve.

So why are people so afraid to be alone? And more importantly why do we let being afraid of doing things alone hold us back? If there's something you want to do and nobody else you know wants to do it, go do it by yourself. Focus on the experience and it won't matter if you're there alone. You'll enjoy being there and that's all that really matters.

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