To be alone.
In my opinion to be alone does not mean to be lonely, just as loneliness does not require solitude.
I believe it is vital to have frequent moments where we can enjoy our own company, if not just for our own sanity. As you may know Souly and I are pretty much joined at the hip but even we need space sometimes, luckily we live in a spacious house otherwise I think even we would get sick of each other.
From my perspective having my own space is absolutely necessary, before I met Souly I had lived on my own for about 3 years which meant I spent a great deal of time alone in my own space, transitioning to living with a partner is always as difficult as it is rewarding however I was very stuck in my ways and it was hard to get used to. I had a system, a way I liked to do things and that all got thrown out of whack. There was double the dishes which meant I couldn’t reserve washing up for once a week (or a mad dash before guests), my once organised wardrobe was now full to bursting and, of course, there was half the space to live in. This all happened in a studio flat. My flat had 4 rooms: a tiny kitchen, a tiny bathroom, a dreadfully cold and dingy conservatory mainly used for the fridge, freezer and washing machine and a bedroom/ sitting room. This was all the space I needed when alone, now someone else was there, I realised there was no space for my partner, me and my mind.
I like space to relax in my own house, I didn’t want to have to go out or sit in the cold conservatory, the bedroom/ sitting room was the only suitable place to relax. After a year of trying to make it work we just hated it so we moved. I will say that moving to a bigger house isn’t necessary for space, just having a couple of separate areas for relaxing is good. I have been in love with tiny homes for a long time and I think the mezzanine bedroom concept is a great way of segregating spaces and making it comfortably liveable for two people.
Now we live in a house and I have my craft/ sitting room which is just perfect. I am allowed that whole room to myself and that is my retreat. I have my dressing table in there, my craft area and a reading nook, it is a perfect place where I always head to if i’m feeling stressed and need to escape for a little while. It is a north-east facing room so is always pretty dull, but i’ve put up some string lights and invested in good bulbs and lighting, it makes all the difference.
Perhaps it is just the introvert in me but I need an hour or so alone every day just to stay sane. I can write to clear my head or read to escape but importantly I just need to be alone.
Before I met Souly I did a lot of things by myself, of course I had friends but sometimes they didn’t want to do the things I was doing or sometimes I just wanted to do things by myself. I enjoyed shopping by myself because I could pop in my earphones and play my favourite tunes, no one would rush me and I could go in all of my favourite shops and eat when I liked. I also went to a lot of concerts by myself. My friends and I had varied but different music tastes so when someone I wanted to see came to town I often went alone. This one took a bit more courage but usually people at concerts are all in high spirits and it is easy to make friends, besides there was no way I was going to miss out on a concert I really wanted to go to just because I had no one to go with! It’s not like tickets come in pairs anyway.
Still nowadays I do a few things by myself. The library is much easier to go to alone because then you can sit and read as long as you like. Museums and art galleries are much easier alone, sometimes Souly will drag me away from the most captivating pieces of work, I would recommend galleries alone, just for those moments where you get lost in a piece and to leave now would just be too much.
Another thing I have often contemplated is travelling alone. I mean really travelling. There are many places I want to go that Souly does not and I do not want this to stop me. I have seen some articles about people (especially women) travelling abroad alone, I think they are so courageous and they often write about having really fulfilling experiences. I hope to one day travel alone just for the experience, it must be terrifying and exciting all at the same time!
Since getting into a relationship the idea of doing things alone seems quite alien to me now, which is a shame. It is nice to go and do something and then tell Souly all about it, but nowadays I find myself lacking the courage to go out and do things, especially now I know how much easier it is to do everything with a partner.
I think sometimes we all need a little space, to sit back, unwind and reconnect with ourselves…
What does it mean to you, to be alone?