Alone, but Not Lonely

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I moved back home during the coronavirus, so I would not be alone, but also, so I could enjoy some fresh air.  I love living in NYC, but I had not realized how cooped up life could be. New Yorkers walk around a lot. I can’t speak for everyone, but I used to only leave my apartment when I was going somewhere.  I did not take leisurely strolls outside just because I could. I have a feeling after this quarantine is over, we are all going to start appreciating the little things like sunshine and the ability to take walks in the park.

The parks by me are closed, but there are plenty of roads to walk along.  Everyone’s flowers are starting to bloom, so my walks are becoming more enjoyable.  I am very close with my family, but that does not mean I do not enjoy spending time alone.  For a lot of people, this ability to go on walks is the only source of alone time. This quarantine is providing two scenarios: people who are alone and may be feeling lonely and people who are cooped up with their family and could use some space.

We are not consistently told while growing up that it is okay to be alone.  There is always an activity, a chore, or a friend that could be occupying our time.  We are told if you don’t participate, you will miss out on all of the joys of life. There is never the idea presented that it is okay to miss a “really fun party” because you had a tough week and just want to read your book.  The concept of FOMO implies there will not be another “really fun party”.

It was not until I was living in NYC that I really started to experience spending time alone.  For insecure people, which I was for a very long time, there is a fear that spending time alone could only be because you were not invited to hangout with anyone.  Now I realize the ability to choose to spend time alone is actually a great strength.  

It was on those nights alone that I came to the following conclusion.  If saying that you do not want to go out on one Friday night rescinds your offer to hang out for all future hangouts, are those really people you want to be spending your time with? As a full-time working woman, you realize there are not enough days in the week to see everyone you want to.  Are you really going to waste what little free time you have on people who don’t care about you? I definitely will not.