Dancing…Alone

One of the blessings of this community we have here at the Exponent, is that I feel less alone in the world because of each of you. Having sisters who think and feel the way I do, has helped me through many rough spots when I haven’t had “in real life” friends for support. But, though this may seem ironic, I think it is also this same internet community that’s given me the courage to be more alone in my journey, too.

Having been a SAHM for many years, I never was alone–at least for longer than a brief shopping trip. But in the past two years I’ve found many times for being alone, and I have to say that it’s both scary and thrilling. I’ve traveled places where no one else knew where I was: ridden in subways by myself, crossed international borders as a solitary traveler, wandered on deserted stretches of beach, and spent afternoons alone in many a cafe in unknown cities. Much of my love for paddling comes from those days that I set off on the water in my one-person outrigger canoe, with only the wind and birds for company.

From all of this I’ve learned that being alone does not mean being lonely. Perhaps that’s why this video struck such a chord with me and why I wanted so much to share it with you:

Do you like to be alone? If so, where do you go to be alone?

Jana

Jana is university administrator and History professor. Her soloblog is http://janaremy.com/pilgrimsteps/

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18 Responses

  1. Emma says:

    What a beautiful video. I’ve always been happiest alone, for as long as I can remember. Since my daughter was born just over six months ago I don’t think I have been alone for anything other than the occasional laundry folding session. I miss it so much, but, at least, I’ve learned to love folding the laundry.

    Thanks for reminding me that there will be more alone time as the kid gets older and life isn’t entirely consumed by SAHMhood – it’s a comforting thought.

  2. ESO says:

    I REALLY liked that–thanks for sharing it. I have been OK being alone for as long as I can remember, and people who fear it are a bit puzzling/frustrating to me. But now as a single mother of young children I both crave being alone (a moment of leisure without the kids) and sometimes hate it (when they are in bed and I have no one to talk to at all.

  3. Stella says:

    Love this video. I ate lunch alone in a cafe yesterday and didn’t mind a bit. But, then again, I’m mostly a loner.

  4. Stephanie says:

    One of my good friends likes to be alone. She is the mother of 3 young children, and her husband is working overseas for a year or two. She feels that God gave her this particular trait (enjoying being along) to prepare her for this time in her life. She was also alone when he served in the military, and she feels that that prepared for her this. It is interesting how the Lord ministers to our needs.

  5. jks says:

    Great video. Does anyone have the perfect amount of alone time? Some have too much, some too little. Might has well bask in the advantages…..you can find meaning in each moment of life.

  6. suzann werner says:

    I swim every morning with a woman who recently lost her husband of 60 years; she is alone for the first time in her life. Being alone while experiencing grief must feel overwhelming sad. One would wonder where to turn next. This lovely video reminds me that we can be comforted in alone minutes by realizing that we are always in the company of someone special……ourselves. Our minds are wonderfully inventive if we get beyond negative thoughts and just be alone with the wonder of all things.

    A note to Alisa……..in her last blog, the comment line has mysteriously disappeared.

    Alisa,
    I love the way you spiritually create what is missing in you life. Thanks for sharing a beautiful story.

    Suzann

  7. suzann werner says:

    please read overwhelmingly sad in the previous post!

  8. CatherineWO says:

    I am a person who has always needed alone time, which was very difficult when my children were young. Grandmothering is perfect, because I can be surrounded by children…and then they go home with someone else.
    I enjoyed this video. In the past nine years, I have done quite a bit of traveling alone, both by car and plane. In the process I have connected with strangers who have truly enriched my life, and I have learned to like myself better.
    One of my favorite places to be alone is on a stormy night, snuggled up with an afghan in my favorite chair, reading a good book.

  9. Naismith says:

    Like many moms, I crave time alone.

    I never understand it when people make a big deal about “not sitting in Relief Society alone.” I love going to church alone.

  10. EM says:

    I’ve been around people all my life, so it’s no wonder I love being alone. Being alone gives me pause to just think and be. It’s just me and my husband now, and often I will tell him “why don’t you go play golf?” And off he happily goes; and then I’m alone again, with my thoughts, my reading and my cross-stitching. I love being alone because I don’t have to been beholden to anyone, and I can go wherever and do whatever I want to. It’s not that I can’t when the husband’s around – it just makes it easier for me to do so and I look forward to those moments of alone-ness. Sweet peace.

  11. Sally says:

    I know everyone in my ward but don’t really have any close friends. Sometimes I feel bad about that, wishing for friends. But when it comes down to it, if I have free time, I don’t feel like calling anyone to go to lunch. I would rather spend the time alone.

  12. Rebecca says:

    There’s something magical about the early morning hours for me. I go outside on my morning run. Lately I’ve been walking more. It’s a quiet time to think. To commune with nature. To process things. To be still. The day is a clean slate, uncomplicated and perfect. Usually I’m the only one out and about in the neighborhood. Sometimes I pass an elderly woman doing Tai Chi at the top of the hill. Everything is quiet. Someone might wander out to their driveway to retrieve the morning paper in their ratty bathrobe, but mostly I am alone and I treasure that. It feels like a secret slice of time. Stolen. Mine.

    Thanks for the post Jana, and for sharing the lovely poem. I’ll have to see if I can find other poetry by Tanya Davis. Really nice.

  13. Craig says:

    While I am human and do still crave interaction with others, I love being alone too. I need to be alone. I need my own thoughts, imaginations, and beliefs.

    I hate the word “spiritual”, but if I must use it, I’d use it when I’m alone, apart from outside influence. I’d use it when I’m utterly stuck in my own head and my own thoughts, both in nature and surrounded by the creations of other humans. Both are beautiful and confusing.

    I am alone a lot. I always have been. Rarely has there been a person truly understood. And I usually like it that way. I am an introvert. When finally I understood that it was ok that I wasn’t like the gregarious people, that being around others wore me out, and that I needed my own space, I finally realised who I was. It took me a long time to figure this out. Our society lauds the extroverts and the gregarious and denigrates those who aren’t.

    To be alone is to know who I am. At least for me.

    This was something that spoke to me. Thanks for sharing it Jana.

  14. stacer says:

    Naismith, the reason why they make a big deal of not sitting in RS alone is because though you might like to be alone, for some of us, it’s the only time of the week they might *not* be alone. When you’re single or widowed, most of your time is spent alone. There have been times when I’ve gone days or weeks without speaking to anyone else except my cats, and to feel completely ignored at church, too–especially when I’ve made the effort to reach out–is disheartening at the least.

    But in general, I like my alone time, now that I have socialization at a day job (it was way too much alone time when I worked from home and lived alone). In fact, sometimes I wonder how I’d adapt to being married or having kids, now that I’ve been alone for so long. There’s a lot to be said for living alone, being able to do whatever you want whenever you want.

  15. Angie says:

    I am approximately 97% extrovert… Being lonely gives me physical pain. But being alone does not necessarily mean that I feel lonely. I do crave human connection like I crave air to breathe.

    One time my dad told me ,”I was the kid who always sat in the back of the classroom by himself, and you’re like the kid who always felt bad for me and sat down to talk to me.”

  16. Corktree says:

    What a delightful video. I moved across country for college in part, I think, so that I could have an excuse to be alone. I love exploring new places on my own and choosing the adventures for myself and not a group, but in those years of independence, I had to teach myself balance by forcing myself to be appropriately social. Now that I’m in the thick of family, I have to push balance the other way. Oddly, though, I prefer to be alone in a crowd vs alone at home. Not sure why that is.

  1. August 1, 2016

    […] of my last posts at Exponent before I took a sabbatical from writing, were about  being alone (see this one and this one)  It was a time of my life where I was re-imagining so many parts of myself and […]

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