By Paige Kiser, Regular Contributor
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a bit of a loner. Not because I dislike people or don’t necessarily want to participate in activities or events, but because I’m what you’d consider an introvert. I’m quiet, I like to think and analyze fully before I act, I prefer deep conversations over small talk, and I easily feel tired or drained from spending too much time in actively social situations.
Though I enjoy talking to and hanging out with close friends and getting to know new people, I find that I’m my most comfortable, genuine self when I am just in my own company. I didn’t have many close friends while growing up, so I learned how to adjust to spending a lot of my time alone – it’s what I’m used to. Somewhere along the way I figured that I needed to learn how to focus on taking care of myself and all that entailed, as well as how to not feel disappointed if I didn’t have plans for the weekend or if I wasn’t invited to someone’s party.
I could relate to Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls when she would choose to spend her lunch break at school sitting by herself, eating while reading a book and listening to music, being perfectly content and not seeing anything weird about it.
Having people around to help build you back up after you’ve had a bad day can be wonderful. If possible, you should try to find a support system that will encourage you to pursue your goals (no matter how unrealistic they may be) and reassure you that your hairstyle doesn’t look as weird as you think it does. But even if you do have those people, they probably aren’t going to be around you every minute of every day, and they don’t have control over what your mind is telling you when you feel unsure or uncomfortable in a situation. You are the only one who hears all of your internal doubts and worries,
The person that you are when you are alone in your bedroom or when you’re in public and create a space for yourself by reading or listening to music: That person is special. That is your most unapologetic, authentic self, and everything that makes them who they are is yours to experience. No one can mess it up, or change it, or take that away from you. You get to decide what you choose to love, to pay attention to, and to use as an opportunity to grow. There doesn’t have to be a feeling of loneliness in being alone. If you figure out how to enjoy your own company and focus on getting to know your inner self that is entirely yours to know, it’s less likely that you will feel isolated. Becoming comfortable with yourself is an important step in becoming comfortable with others, and it’s a growing, changing process.
When people talk about self-care and self-love and say that you should strive to treat yourself like you are your own best friend, it’s because ultimately you are your own best friend.
Let's chat! What do you like to do when you're spending time with yourself? How do you handle being alone? Share with us here!
Paige is a film production student who is passionate about social justice and encouraging people to love themselves. She enjoys black coffee, movie marathons, Halloween, vintage fashion, comic books, and telling everyone she knows why RuPaul’s Drag Race is the best thing ever. When she isn’t at a movie theater or asking a tall stranger to help her reach for books on top shelves, you can find her on twitter @paigevsreality.
image via flavorwire.com