When I got to college last year I began to realize just how much I couldn't be by myself, and it was a little alarming. I could barely get through an episode on Netflix without having to get up and go to the student center or walk around campus where people were, it even got so bad that I started running for HOURS because I couldn't stand to be alone with myself that I was literally trying to run away from myself, from my feelings, from all of the uncomfortableness. I booked my social life obsessively because I wanted to be around people and was scared of the alternative. But then I realized I am not the only one who has struggled with this, I see it every day. So many people constantly need to be on their phones, or with other people, because they are so uneasy about just simply being with themselves. In this age of technology even when are think we are "alone" we still have people calling, texting, and tweeting us 24/7. And for some reason, being alone at a coffee shop, at the beach, or in a park are seen as "weird", but people only call things weird that they don't understand, and a lot of people don't understand how beautiful it is to be comfortable with yourself.
Recently in my life I've realized that learning to be comfortable alone, learning to be your own best friend, is SO important(only took a few years and lots of eye rolling to get here). Back in high school I was horrified by the idea of just eating lunch alone, or being in my room for too long, but now I've learned the value of getting to know (and like) myself more. Over the past year or so I've started to go places alone all the time, and at first it was awkward and uneasy, but now it's starting to feel good and even fun. I go to the beach, a park, even New York City, alone all the time and it doesn't make me uncomfortable anymore because I've gotten to know myself, my feelings, and what makes me happy. Spending time by yourself can be so empowering and freeing because know one knows you better than yourself. We spend so much time with friends and family, we know their passions and secrets and would do anything to make them happy, but we constantly forget about the most important person in our lives, ourselves.
The first thing I had to do was reflect on why it was I was constantly avoiding being alone. And I'm not going to lie and tell you it's easy or pleasant, it's hard, really really fucking hard. But nothing worthwhile is ever simple. I had to do a lot of digging, deal with a lot of things that I had buried for so long, cry a lot of tears, feel so much pain and discomfort, but I persevered and I learned a lot. Once I had come to the root of my problems, I had to learn how to deal with them in healthy ways instead of suppressing them. Then slowly but surely I started to be able to become at ease with myself, and I began to spend more and more time with myself, and eventually I began to even look forward to alone time rather than dreading it. Now some of my best days, my happiest moments, are the adventures I go on by myself. Not because I hate people, not because I don't have friends, but because I literally enjoy hanging out with myself. I know that sounds so strange, but it's really a feeling I cannot explain. When you start to see yourself how other people see you, you understand why they want to spend time with you, and then you want to spend time with you too.
I went from being the self deprecating joke queen (okay some still slip out, I'm a work in progress people), to realizing that I'm actually pretty fucking cool. I can't encourage you enough to spend some time with yourself because it's honestly one of the best things I've ever done. I've gotten a lot of advice in my life, I've overcome a lot of things, accomplished some stuff, but being my own best friend is probably the best thing I've ever done. What are your passions? Do them, find them. Explore the world around you while also exploring yourself. Go on a hike, watch a sunset, go to a museum, just do something you love and enjoy your own company. You have this one body, this one soul, this ONE life, and every single thing, person, and experience will come and go, but when all is said and done you will always have yourself, so why not befriend yourself? Learn to be comfortable alone, learn to deal with the discomfort, learn to love yourself, learn to be your own best friend, future you will definitely be grateful.
Are you comfortable with yourself?
Here are some pictures from my latest solo adventures!