“I need to be anti-social tonight. I’m bailing on dinner,” I asserted from the front seat of a rent-a-car.
From my position I was primed to survey the passengers—colleagues from work—in the oversized SUV for reactions to my declaration to be alone. No one had taken me seriously. I counted to ten before I made a second attempt to plea my case. “I’m reading War and Peace and it’s getting juicy.”
After three days of nine-hour meetings in a confined room, including meals, being alone was imperative to my well-being. Business travel in itself is tiring, but a team traveling together is grueling. What a weirdo, is the look I read in their eyes as they dropped me at the hotel before speeding off to dinner or it might have been envy for all I knew. It mattered not, I was free. I trotted off to my room, changed, and found my peace on walk along the foothills of Phoenix.
How do you tell people you’d rather be alone without causing offense? I’m not entirely sure there is a polite way to do so. Note to self: consult Emily Post’s book on etiquette.
For almost forever I used to think something was seriously wrong with me. Why was it I preferred hanging with myself when a vast majority of people were happier in packs? It’s not that I want to be alone all the time, just most of the time. I do make exceptions for some people. It’s not as if I don’t like people, some I even love. It’s just…
I really, truly, enjoy keeping my own company.
There’s no pretense. I can be me.
I can be happy, dark, and even stormy, or I can just be quiet and listen to the stillness inside of me.
Maybe there is something wrong with others and not me?
Why being alone is the new black:
- You don’t have to share your Skittles
- You can play Lady Gaga’s You and I at full volume and get your jam on, even if your own jam is slightly out of tune.
- You can say whatever you want and not have to explain it because it makes perfect sense to you; your opinion is the only one that matters.
- You can leave the toilet seat down or up, whichever you prefer.
- You can cry openly at the end of a sappy movie and not have to pretend you needed a bio break to hide your tears from others.
- You can watch the same movie over and over again not have to justify it.
- You can remember sexy moments and not have worry about blushing.
- You can eat a smashed banana and peanut butter sandwich and enjoy a glass of your favorite Zinfandel for dinner without being judged.
- You can say I love you to yourself and know it to be the honest truth.
- You can wallow in the deepest darkest despair, and after, write some bad poetry in your diary—or on a blog post—to purge any residual anguish.
- You can walk around the house all day in your knickers or even go commando style if you are so inclined.
- You can look in the mirror and ask yourself, “does this make my butt look too big?” and know that the voice in your head would never lie to you.
- You can open up the box of regrets and memories you buried all those years ago and reminisce.
- You can even linger over the one choice you said you would never regret and swear to the world you do not—but secretly do and have—and ask yourself why or why?
- You can find his or her picture you slipped between the pages of the St James Bible buried on the bottom bookshelf, dial up some Etta James on Spotify—or if you’re into vinyl, crank up the Motorola, pop the cork, and give way to those feelings you keep tethered behind the ribs, left of your heart, and buried deep inside of your soul.
- Or you can sit in your favorite comfy chair reading a book until the troops of your little army come through the door demanding your attention and/or food.
Spending time with yourself isn’t always fun, sometimes we have to confront our flaws, face down a nagging doubt, or make a tough decision, but for the most part there is a treasure trove of entertainment inside. Try it you might have some fun.