Be Open
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Be Open

There’s Nothing Wrong With Spending Time With Yourself

Alone time can be therapeutic.

Image by Thought Catalog via Unsplash

You can never be lonely if you’re alone. What do I mean? I mean you’re your best source of entertainment. It’s important to know who you are and the only way to do that is to have some quality time with yourself. I recommend you begin by dating yourself.

When I was in high school, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I wasn’t doing a lot of the typical teen stuff — hanging out with friends, sleepovers, dating, and going to parties. I was into reading, writing, and shopping. I spent many a Friday and Saturday night at home watching tv or videos.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do all the stuff other teens did, I just didn’t have many opportunities to do so. I learned early on to entertain myself. I would hang out in Downtown Crossing in Boston, Dedham Place in Dedham, and Harvard Square in Cambridge. I would browse the stores, buy books, and eat junk food.

Boston is a walkable city. But if you have a car, it gives you more options. I didn’t learn how to drive as a teen, so public transportation was my main means of travel. Boston has one of the best transit systems in the country. It was very easy for me as a teen to traverse in and around the city.

I didn’t mind being by myself. I was busy exploring the city. When I was hungry, I ate at restaurants. When I wanted entertainment, I went to the movies or rented a video. When I needed clothes or shoes, I went to the mall. I often left my house around noon and didn’t return until 8 or 9 in the evening. I’d spend the rest of the night watching videos until well past midnight.

When I was out, I had plenty of time to read on the bus or train, write, or just enjoy the ride. I had time to think, plan, and do. I would sit in the Boston Commons and people watch. I would listen to the latest music at the record store or try on shoes at Macy’s. Sometimes, there were events going on at Downtown Crossing and I would watch the performances.

Did I want people to hang out with? Sure, but I didn’t dwell on it. I made it a point to enjoy my own company. Ironically, once I gained friends, I found myself missing my alone time. I liked having a social calendar, but then I was too exhausted to do anything when I had downtime. People have a tendency to run you ragged. You have to agree to the group’s plans. You have to go along to get along. I realized that’s not how I roll.

Whether I’m in a group or by myself, I stay true to who I am. Those who are with me understand who I am. I’m not changing for anyone. That’s what everyone should realize — you are your own best company. Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. You must learn how to be by yourself. You must enjoy your own company. Once you do, you gain so much freedom. You can go anywhere and do anything.

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Shirley Jones Luke

Shirley Jones Luke

Shirley is a poet and writer. Ms. Luke enjoys reading, fashion and travel. She is working on a manuscript of her poems and an essay collection.

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