I live alone in a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. I typically walk the city, drive places and even travel longer-distances alone. Clearly not all the time, no. But often, I am alone.
The idea of being alone used to scare me. I remember before moving to San Francisco in 2005 that I felt that I needed a friend to move with me in order to make the leap and get a new place 3,000 miles away from “home.” I worried about needing the company of another person all the time, as well as about how my social life would be if I didn’t have a live-in buddy to join me for adventures. I quickly found that, once my old college roomate and I moved in together again, we didn’t have as much in common as we used to. We had (and still have) a great friendship, but the social aspect of how we lived our lives had changed. We still did a lot of things together, but we also had a lot of different interest and different new friends to spend time with each on our own. She moved back to Queens less than a year after we had moved to San Francisco. I’ve now lived on my own since 2006 and it’s been one of the best life-experiences I’ve had.
Granted, being alone can become lonely at times, but it’s not too often that it happens, especially as you become more comfortable with yourself and spending time as you choose. When you’re alone, there’s no one to answer to. No one to tell you what to do, to fuss over what you’ll both eat for dinner that night, what watch on tv or listen to on the radio. You get to plan your day according to your own whims and fancies, adding in the company of others as you like, or not. I have found that one of the best ways to get to know yourself is to spend more time with yourself. And only with yourself. If you don’t want to spend time with yourself, who else will? This goes for the single and non-single people alike.
When you’re alone, the world is your oyster.
I know a lot of single people, not all of whom share my view, but many of whom do. I can honestly say that, for those who don’t, reframing their mental outlook on life to this approach would help their cause whether they would like to find a partner or not. Regardless of what you want in life, people will always find others with a positive attitude more attractive, as friends or as more. The only way to move through life in a productive way is to recognize the beauty and lessons in where you are at any given time, as well as the precious value of time and the sense of urgency with which pursuing happiness should be faced. If you’re not happy, I don’t know what matters more than figuring out how to become happy.
I often wake up thinking, “the world is my oyster.”
I get to choose what I want to do that day, in its entirety. Sure, I have clients I’ve scheduled, deadlines to meet for articles I’ve agreed to write, classes at the gym I want to attend with set time schedules. But they’re all choices I’ve made, and gladly. What do you wake up thinking? If it’s something negative, maybe it’s time for a change. This post is not just for the single people out there. And I’m not saying it means we all need to be alone or on our own to have this perspective in any way. I just want everyone to realize that in the end, all we have is ourselves. Be happy with who you are, be able to and have a desire to spend time with yourself from time to time, and realize the freedom to make choices in your life.
Be the driver, not a passenger. The world is your oyster, too.