Alone is a Place not a Prison
In my office last week a newly married young lady expressed the sadness of her husbands deployment and how she dreaded having to do a laundry list of things alone. My thought was, I can't relate. Don't get me wrong I love my hubby and when he is away I long to hear his laugh, smell his cologne and snuggle next to him. Yet, the thought of doing things alone like breakfast in a diner, coffee at Starbucks, nails and pedicure, and movies excite me. I grew up as an only child and I relished in the times I spent alone in my room with my toys making up entire dramas in my Barbie kingdom. When my sister-friend came over I had to not only share my toys, but change the narrative of my drama because she no doubt had an opinion of how the Barbie kingdom should be run and who was boyfriend and girlfriend and who wore what.
Having to share leadership of the Barbie kingdom taught me something at a young age. Sharing forced me to compromise. Sometimes things I felt strongly about got lost in her insistence that red pumps be worn with a neon outfit because the shoes were a pair. I was perfectly content with one neon pump with one black pump because they matched the outfit. Neither are completely wrong; but if we were going to play nicely together, one of us were going to have to silence our voice. In a life that goes so fast, many times we spend so much time bending that we forget how to stand up straight and own who we are as every woman should.
Spending extended periods of time alone is only dreadful if that is the the view you choose to have for your present situation. Now let's be clear. I am not talking about a trauma that removes a person from your life, although it can be applied in this situation. I often encourage my coaching clients to take intentional alone time away from family and friends in which they are present and in the moment. After all, using your alone time to do or plan for everyone else is not personal time well spent. Use this time to get clear on who you are, what you like, and to empower and restore yourself. Sometimes I will take a half day to go to a movie alone and make my own personal mini vacation. I turn off the phone, pack my blanket, eat my favorite snacks (which I don't have to share), and laugh or cry my heart out. When I leave that theater I am ready to face life and all that comes with it. I am restored because of the two or three hours I chose to spend with myself. I encourage you to change the word alone to a happy place where you are the leader of your Barbie kingdom.