Being okay in my own company

The back of a woman looking at the sunset over forest trees.

I'm learning to differentiate between being alone and spending time with myself.

Being by myself used to be a very uncomfortable experience for me, my mind felt uneasy, it was itching as if I needed to be doing something productive or socialising in order to make my time worth it. I was feeding into the narrative that ‘fun’ had to be with friends or family. Every time I had a moment of free time, I found myself reaching out to friends to ask if they wanted to hang out or talk over a phone call. I just didn’t want to be left alone with my thoughts. 

Slowly, as everyone’s lives got busier and it was more difficult to be free at the same time as someone else, I was forced to confront the reality of being alone. I was uncomfortable at first, I started by watching youtube or TV shows to preoccupy my mind while doing mundane tasks such as cooking, or brushing my teeth. 

It took my taking gradual steps over the period of a few months to slowly be more comfortable with being by myself. I reframed my thoughts, from being “alone” to “spending time with myself” to help de-stigmatise the notion. I started small, cooking without a video playing in the background, paying attention to the ingredients, their smell, texture, and how they sizzled in the pan. Then onto taking bus rides without music or watching something on my phone, watching people walk on and off, looking out the window to notice the little details of the city I never really thought to see before. Of course, I don’t intend to exclusively fly solo, I want to find the balance between time with others and time spent by myself.

A memorable realisation for me was that the person I spend my time with the most, the person who has been there for me since the day I was born and will be with me till the day I die, is myself. I will spend every moment with this person so, that person should be someone whose company I enjoy.

Tagged in What messes with your head, self-love, self-discovery, self-care