Over the past few years, "alone" was a state I was easily able to avoid. Roommates throughout college provided someone to accompany me to the library after class, breaks consisted of playing catch up with my family, and any other time has been spent with my boyfriend of two and a half years, EJ. Since graduation, he and I decided not to live together, but fortunately, his job and my graduate school are in the same city. I had once again dodged the lonely bullet.
Until this week that is. This week, while EJ is away on business, it is just Willow and me, and I'm having to relearn how to be by myself. It's weird.
I have never been one to enjoy alone time. Given the choice between an hour of solitude and time with people, I will pick people every time. Thus, waking up Saturday, I found myself terribly unmotivated. I was putting off breakfast and texting friends to find out their plans. I typically love to cook, but cooking for one just seemed sad. And all of my normal Saturday activities - walks in the park, shopping, brunch - all of those things were unappealing as a party of one.
Finally, I had to ask myself - are you just going to sit on the couch all week? Or are you going to make the most of this?
Being alone, while different, isn't bad. Once I got myself a bagel and a shower, I set forth on being productive. I finished the novel I have been working through forever. I got ahead on some writing. I cleaned my apartment the right way - vacuum cleaner and everything. Yes, I watched some Netflix (guilty as charged), but I made sure that wasn't all I did. After so many years of co-dependence, it was nice to do some things on my time and my terms. I found I was more creative. I let hours go by, fingers flying on my keyboard, without interruption. I reveled in crossing things off of my to-do list. I relaxed, snuggled beneath a blanket and a purring ball of fluff.
Am I excited for EJ to come home? That plane can't get here fast enough. This week wasn't some huge epiphany. I'm not suddenly an introvert, longing for time by myself. I will sill prefer to cook for two (or three or four). I will always prefer a night out to a night alone. But whenever my next bout of alone time rolls around, one thing is for sure. I will know how to make the most of it.