Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How To Be Alone

So, I had an interesting thought today. I was thinking about how sad it feels to be outside a relationship, and then it occurred to me that if I took all the time I've invested in figuring out how to get into a relationship and stay in one, and put that same time and effort into figuring out how to be happy on my own, I'd probably be pretty darned good at chilling by myself. So I'm starting the project of figuring out how to amuse myself by myself.

The process has been awkward at first; I've invested very little thought into this previously, as my focus outside relationships has typically been how to get into another one as quickly as possible. A quick Google search gave me big lists of things to do alone, but many are depressing tidbits like "dance in front of a mirror" or "make a funny looking pancake." But here are a few I didn't mind:

1. Read a book. (This is straightforward. When you're really into a good book you don't care who is around. In fact, other people are an unwelcome distraction to a ripping novel.)

2. Hang out with nature. (I've noticed that if you're out in the woods and nobody's around, you don't feel nearly as alone as when you're in a crowded disco club. Less people in nature is actually better, and no people in nature in great.)

3. Play video games. (I really need to get an XStation or PlayBox or something. This is more a guy thing, but I could spend a whole weekend alone if the video game were sufficiently awesome.)

4. Play music. (For some people, this is listening, for me it's practicing my instruments. It's enjoyable while I have the energy for it. Unlike books, though, I can't really jam on guitar for too long, because your fingers get tired.)

5. Draw something. (I used to draw a web comic, but a purpose-driven hobby has its own issues. Free-form doodling is more the idea here.)

6. Meditate. (On a quiet friday night, the last thing I want to do is to make it quieter. But every time I've tried having an extended sit by myself, I always feel great after. 45 minutes is amazing.)

7. Exercise. (I'm obsessed with swimming nowadays, but any aerobic activity that leads to endorphin release is a good thing. I can basically swim my cares away, it takes about 20 minutes for most problems.)

8. Cook. (I'm terrible at getting myself to do this, but the times I have I am amazed at the difference between eating takeout alone and cooking for yourself. Cooking yourself something is a very nice experience.)

9. Watch anime. (For most people this would read "Watch a movie" but I'm not a movie person. Give me a good anime series, however, and that's 6 hours down the drain. Or up the drain.)

This is not a comprehensive list, but a decent start. I'll keep thinking about it. The point is that even if you are in a relationship, there will alwayse be times when you're alone, and you could spend that time waiting for your other half to return, or you could learn to enjoy yourself. Suggestions and thoughts welcome.

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