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Being Alone in a “Together”-Saturated World

November 28, 2008

I think it is very important to take yourself on dates sometimes.

Yes, you heard me right.

When’s the last time you did it?
Most peoples’ answer: “Um…never?”

Though some might see it as lonely and/or pathetic (which it is not), I find it extremely liberating and downright enjoyable. People spend so much time in social situations that are often just a fiesta of noise and distraction without much true meaning or purpose. We covetously seek out chatter and interaction, sometimes just to fill the hours, so that we are never dangerously alone in our own minds. (Who knows what we might find there…)

Perhaps I am just oddly comfortable being alone but I find it an absolute necessity. And who ever said that alone time has to be somber, boring and quiet? Why not gussy yourself up and do something fun? I don’t date very much and don’t think I should be denied the enjoyments of movies, dinner or other traditional social engagements just because I’d be alone. When did being alone become so wrong anyway?

So I dress up, I take the time to spritz on some perfume, wear my favorite cute boots and really feel beautiful, without the ulterior motive of impressing other people. I take myself to movies, to dinner and on walks. I have these little traditions with myself that I think will always be essential to my sanity, single or not. It reminds me of that who I am, in the very sense of being at its deepest level, is not tied to anyone other than my Beloved. I don’t want to feel I ever denied myself a life experience, just because I was afraid that I’d be alone.

We need this time to ourselves if only to get to know who we are. We blanket ourselves with constant distraction and use that as a wall so that we need not ever truly learn who we are as ourselves, without the context and influence of others. If we don’t know who we are when we’re alone, we’re never going to find it in someone else. If we don’t know who we are, how can we ever expect anyone else to?

The word “alone” often has such a sad connotation, an aura of despair and failure. But is it really? I know it is not good for man to be alone (hence, the creation of Eve and my very sex) but I don’t think it is altogether healthy for us to constantly be surrounded by people either. Things like desert islands, spas and yoga exist and are appealing for a reason — we crave time to ourselves. But in our fast-paced, Starbucks-laced, meetings-driven world, few people really take the time to do so anymore.

So do it.
Take yourself on a date.
Get to know who you are again — remind yourself why it is so fabulous to be you. (Even when you are feeling distinctly devoid of fabulousity.)

As Dr. Seuss once said, “Today, you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive you-ier than you.”

So go enjoy it.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. James permalink
    November 28, 2008 8:52 pm

    I agree. I take myself out on dates often.

    In the fall I went to this fancy place and sat out on their patio and ordered coffee and read a book. Then I ordered myself some green curry shrimp. And THEN, I even got myself dessert. I spent like 30 bucks, but I figure I would have spent that much on myself and a date at a less cool place. Plus, I am an awesome date… and no matter what, I always get to take myself home…. that’s weird. =)

    I really don’t mind being alone at times, and sometimes I prefer it. Though, it seems as though nearly everyone I know now is married or on their way to being married. Hm… I haven’t decided how I feel about that yet. Results may be in in a week.

    Anyway, I have rambled. Hope all is well.

  2. Caroline permalink*
    November 28, 2008 9:54 pm

    It should come as no surprise that you would understand this, of all people. I feel we are compatible in this way — probably why we enjoy our excursions and dinners together so much. 🙂

  3. Anonymous permalink
    November 28, 2008 9:56 pm

    I have been dating myself for so long now I am expecting some sort of lifelong commitment soon. Maybe this Christmas it will become official.

    There is this really fabulous Tom Waits song that I am reminded of.

    Pertaining to dating yourself and being happy because all his friends are married and controlled by it.

    He sings about taking yourself home at night after a date and trying to seduce yourself.
    “makin a scene with a magazine…..I’m not weird about it or anything. I don’t tie myself up first.”

    Anyways, you should look it up.

    Better off without a wife. Get the intro too. its Good.

    In fact, you should look into all of Nighthawks at the Diner. You would really like it. Its jazzy and improv and lovely.

    try it.

  4. Caroline permalink*
    November 28, 2008 10:10 pm

    Oh you, always trying to get me to listen to Tom Waits. I will, I will…I would just go bankrupt buying all the music you recommend me on iTunes.

    (If that comment wasn’t Noelle, by the way, I will be very surprised.)

  5. Glo permalink
    November 29, 2008 12:57 am

    This is a lovely entry. For your information, my roommate asked me what I was reading, and I told her “Its my friend’s journal, she is quite insightful.” I feel like compliments like that should be shared 🙂

    As for being “alone” I feel that loneliness is just a feeling. We can feel it in a crowded room or even in the arms of someone who loves us. I think it points out that there is something else that our soul craves, and it isn’t always the company of others.

    There has to have been a reason that Jesus went to “desolate places” to be alone. Not only did he have to remember who he was, he had to remember who made him who he was.

    I don’t think that alone places need to be desolate, coffee shops work too 😛

    I love you chicky,
    Glo

  6. December 4, 2008 6:03 pm

    Fantastic post! I have gone as far as to take myself to the movies, but am working up to eating alone 🙂 I absolutely agree that there is a difference between ‘alone’ and ‘lonely’ – and you’re right, what’s so bad about being alone anyway?

  7. Caroline permalink*
    December 4, 2008 10:33 pm

    Thank you! Eating alone is an intense experience the first time you do it — it’s scary and takes some courage, but it’s actually quite nice. I cheat a little and usually bring a book. But I bring books with me most places, even places with people.

    Try it though…it’s a good thing.

    Rock on for us single gals. 🙂

  8. December 12, 2008 1:38 pm

    12/12/2008 … First time i read your blog. Like it a lot.

    You have a reader in Costa Rica now 🙂

    Have a great weekend C

    JR

  9. Caroline permalink*
    December 12, 2008 7:16 pm

    Wow, all the way in Costa Rica? Thank you so much for reading! I hope you continue to enjoy my posts — please feel free to give me feedback and your thoughts!

    Grace and peace!

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