“Being brave enough to be alone frees you up to invite people into your life because you want them and not because you need them.” -Mandy Hale.
During my ten year relationship, I found it hard to explain “I just need alone time”. I knew the first instinct would be for my partner to feel like it was him. It always felt like a natural feeling where I needed to escape a little. Not far. Just from life, our relationship, the intensity of always being around someone. I needed to feel free. Most times I would retreat quietly into our bedroom and potter about. He would come looking for his girlfriend. Not realising I was having alone time. He never really understood it.
One weekend I would be the social butterfly of our friendship group, then the next I would declare “ I don’t want to be around anyone”. I craved alone time. Near the end of our relationship, I ran for physical exercise, but looking back, it gave me the freedom I craved. Then I would jump on my bike for longer bike rides. My escape.
The more I look back through my life, I can see the signs. I was an alone time seeker from a young age.
My best friend would come to my front door to ask to play and I would be super happy to sit in front of the tv alone and watch the tennis at Wimbledon. I loved to sort through the stones in my back garden. Like a classic lone wolf. My mum looking on puzzled at why I didn’t want to go play. But to me, it felt natural.
Then there were the girls’ holidays to Europe, where we spent every day and night in each other’s pockets. Living our best life. Young and free, in our 20s. I would always need ‘quiet time’ at the end of the afternoon sun bathing, before we headed out to enjoy the wild nightlife. A wee hour in the afternoon to recharge and go again that night!
Even now, when I visit my parents for the weekend, my mum always asks “Are you staying for Sunday dinner”! I shake my head and mutter “I need to get back to Glasgow”…for me time! I need space to hang out with me. Just me.
Alone time is a gift! The more you are alone, the more you realise who you are. What you like. What you want from life. What the voices in your head are trying to tell you. You can also slow down to listen to your intuition, the whisper we hear from within! It really is a gift.
Last weekend I was in my element, roaming about my flat. Sitting binge watching the latest drama on BBC Iplayer. Drinking coffee with yummy cake while writing. Some admin stuff. Then I ran and cycled, enjoyed a bath with a book. All Alone and perfectly content.
How can you carve out some ‘alone’ time guilt free? It is good for the soul.