Learning to be alone

I’m discovering I’m really not a good alone person :) I do love my solitude, but at the same time it seems I need almost constant connection to people in some way. This explains my love of blogs, discussion groups, e-mail, IM, telephone conversations… and when those are exhausted, I vastly prefer a book or movie to anything else – even that helps me feel connected. I spend a lot of time lately planning social events and outings on top of all my online activities, volunteering, working – anything to connect with people.

There are many, many projects I could be doing around here that I’m putting off. In pondering why it seems so hard to get around to these, yet I can spend hours blogging or teaching an online class, I’ve decided that it’s because they’re not connected to anyone but me – they’re not for anyone but me – no-one will see them but me. I was a lot more motivated to do these things when I was dating someone, because then at least he would come over and see them :D

I wonder sometimes if this is something that I’ll learn with time – after all, I’ve only been on my own for a couple of years. Or will I always prefer to be doing something that somehow touches other people, even if it’s indirect. I’d like to learn to do things just for and with myself, but not sure how you learn that. When it comes to being positive and grateful and optimistic, I’ve got all kinds of tools and ideas. But when it comes to this… I have no idea how to proceed.

I read other people’s blogs with envy, especially those involving gatherings or little things that people do for each other. Deep down inside, I do want a partner. Yet, I know I would still need a lot of time to myself to make it work. I often wonder how realistic that combination is… I’m certainly more efficient at getting things done when I have plans that I have to be ready for. Less time would be wasted on mindless pursuits stemming from loneliness, I think.

Nature is the one thing that always makes me feel connected, even when I’m alone. I can’t wait for the winter to end so I can get out in it more often. :)

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3 thoughts on “Learning to be alone

  1. Judith B says:

    Am not sure anyone really learns to enjoy being alone, unless that is their temperment to begin with. I’ve known people who learned to be alone as they got older, but even they tended to reach out in activities, phone calls, etc., or even soap operas if they could do nothing else. They needed that people connection. I also have a friend who prefers being alone, and even after retirement, it is still her preference. She does have email correspondance, though not a lot. Then there are people who need alone time to re-charge AND time with people to re-charge. To quote Robin Williams from “Dead Again,” the trick is to find out which one you are and then be that. And with this, there is no right or wrong way.

  2. Coppermoon says:

    Wise words from Judith.

    There is a line in “Shirley Valentine” that says “I wonder why I’m so afraid of being alone when I’m so very good at it.” I AM good at it and prefer it and yet there are times when I simply must connect with some living person. The thing is you are a people person with people energy – and you have so much to offer others that it is important for you to do so. At the same time, I don’t see you freaking if you have an evening at home alone. Seems to me you are a very well balanced person. :)

  3. Robin says:

    This text of yours is a nice analysis of being alone. Can this analysis ever be complete? It remembers me of a lot of passages in the field of people who are preoccupied with “meditation”, like me (hum). Everyone can easily find quite long passages on living with this question or “problem” on sites related with the in 1990 deceased guru Osho. But of course great philosophers have all written about loneliness, e.g. Albert Camus, existentialist. I feel the same tension of being pulled from one pole to the other: being alone and being with others. The best “mental state” is not to confuse “being alone” with “loneliness”.

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