Note: By “being alone,” I’m not talking directly about being single, but more so about being with and by yourself.
For the longest time, I was perfectly fine with being alone, just spending time by myself and enjoying doing my alone-hobbies, as I call them. But at that point in my life, I had never been in a long-term relationship, and I didn’t fully understand what it was to share your time and your experiences with one person. That being said, I never felt as though I was unable to have “me time,” at any point in my life, but it definitely hit me hard this past month when I realized I was no longer comfortable just being by myself.
It’s different for everyone, and it can change from day to day. I know that some days, I want to be alone. And then some days, I desperately want to be comforted by the presence of others. I suppose being unemployed is definitely not helping my case, but I started to wonder why I felt this way and how I could look at it differently, change my perspective of being alone.
The first cause that comes to mind when someone mentions not wanting to be alone is loneliness. A lot of people might think that it’s the main reason certain people don’t want to be alone, and in some cases that is true, but I think sometimes it can also be because you’re scared to see who you’ve become. Do you like who you are? Are you able to spend time alone and not criticize yourself? Those are questions I asked myself, and I’m glad that I did because it allowed me to take a step back and think about how I perceive myself.
I have been so fortunate to have grown up in the environment that I did, surrounded by wonderful caring friends and family who have done nothing but support me in being myself. Everybody has shitty days where you don’t feel like you like yourself very much, but generally speaking, I love the person I’ve become. I’m proud of who I am, where I come from. I am comfortable in my own skin, and I accept that I have good qualities and bad qualities.
That being said, I realize that in fact neither of the causes mentioned above apply to me. During a long conversation with a good friend, who is also unemployed, it came to me that the discomfort of being alone might be due to restlessness and feeling unaccomplished. Despite the fact that I do try to make to-do lists and give myself goals every day, it’s not quite as satisfying as having specific tasks and responsibilities like you do when working full time.
On the positive side of things, I think this is making me become more aware of what it’s like to be self-employed. Given the fact that I do want to pursue music as a career, this is probably a really big learning curve for me. I’ve always been good at self-discipline, time management, stress management, etc, however, I’ve only had to do so in a structured environment. Now that I’m “working” completely independently, without specific guidelines and timeframes, it’s more difficult to stay motived and focused on your tasks and goals. Even writing blog posts seems more demanding, and all I do is talk about myself!
And speaking of myself, here is a list of the benefits that I feel I have drawn from being alone/being with myself:
- Learning the value of yourself and of your opinions
- Appreciation of relationships and interactions
“It’s better to be alone than lonely with someone else.”