I had this habit during my seven year relationship. I would go into the bedroom, close the door, listen to music really loud and pretend I was somewhere else. I assumed it was a coping mechanism; my version of ‘anywhere but here’. I pretended I was in hollywood accepting awards, hanging with celebrities, travelling the world or generally being free.
I’ve now lived on my own for a year and a half, and I still often seek out that alone time. It’s one of my favorite things!
I’m normally very social and love going out with friends. I no longer have anything I need to escape. My life is fill with wonderful people I look forward to seeing constantly. But I start to look at my calendar and wonder ‘when do I get to be by myself?’. I crave it. I’ve never considered myself an introvert, but that time by myself beckons to me like a comforting blanket.
So what’s it all about? Why do I crave ‘me’ time? Those same fantasies I had to escape from life are still in my mind, only now their light and filled with happiness! I enjoy them so much more than I used too because they’re not masking anything. They’re dreams and possibilities. It’s my positive side reaching as far as possible and imaging futures I can have! I used to feel like life was never within reach, that I would never get to a place of happiness. Now I see those ‘absurd’ fantasies as completely within my grasp.
That’s what alone time creates for me. It’s a time to ignore the distractions of this moment and really let your mind free. When I sit down in front of blank page to write, sometimes I get stuck. Where do I start? I get obsessed with it. What should the first sentence be? But sometimes I give up on the first sentence and think ‘where am I going to end up?’. It’s a much bigger world than the first sentence. It’s an entire story away! But even if I have just a glimmer if where I’m going to end up, the first step appears in front of me. My wild imaginings of being a writer starts with a single word. From the word, another word. It keeps going, until I reach that last word on the last page.
I’ve never been able to meditate. Well I’ve never put that much effort into it, but I’ve certainly tried a few techniques!! It just doesn’t come naturally to me. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the powers of meditation and I believe in its purpose. But I don’t believe in forcing yourself to do something that feels unnatural. I find mindfulness in opening myself up and letting everything in at once. Does that sound like meditation? Maybe it is! My version of meditation comes in the form of ‘alone time’. It’s during this time by myself that I relax and recharge. It stops me from being so caught up in day to day life that I stop imagining the future. I need those hours by myself to imagine the possibilities of life and let the steps towards that future appear in front of me naturally.
Everyone has their own method of ‘meditation’. I challenge you to sit down and think about the things you crave in life. Is it affection? Is it social outings? Is it sitting on the beach watching the sunset? It has to be something that you start to long for after a few days. If you crave it, then it’s doing something for you. Do you crave sitting in the grass and breathing in the fresh air? Does it make you feel more yourself when you do? That’s your version of meditation. Maybe you sit in a coffee shop and flip through magazines. As long as it’s something that breaks you away from the chaos of the immediately world and opens your mind to possibilities, then you need it. After five straight days of friends, dinners, drinks and fun, tonight I need to go home and be by myself. Every single one of the last fives days has been awesome! I can honestly say I love my life!! But I have dreams and I will live those dreams every day until they are true.