The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

Menu Close

Alone

The last three weeks have been instructive in many ways.

Last month, the husband announced that he had work travel planned this month. He’d be gone for a little over three weeks to India. Fun. For him, I mean.

I was fairly okay with this plan. I didn’t wonder – Oh, what am I going to do, all by myself, for such a long period? I knew that I wouldn’t really have a problem filling my days, and happily so too. It has been that way for me all the while. I greatly enjoy solitude, as I have come to understand about myself over the last twenty-something days.

But it has been a revelation, even to me, as to how much I enjoy time spent by myself.

A dear friend asked me, frankly curious – What do you do all the time? Or something along those lines. I had a tough time coming up with a good answer, so I gave a vague response. Ahh, you know… I read. I cook. I am cooking daily, you know? Then I just chill, haha. You know? Attempting to give the guilty smile/conspiratory look.

Well, I don’t think of myself as an introvert, but these days I guard my alone time fiercely. I pull it close to myself like a warm woolen shawl.

I remember a conversation with a friend about loneliness. People tend to think that alone = lonely. Of course, I disagree. I don’t deny the value of social connections and interactions. But really, it is important to know how to stay/be on your own, and remain joyful and fulfilled. I think the ultimate truth that most of us regularly push to the dark recesses of our mind is that alone-ness is a reality. Sometimes, we end up living many years of our life without any friends/family/children around. Sometimes, it becomes the story of our entire life. Everyone dies alone. Sometimes, death comes in a flash, and we face it solo without the comforting company of a loved one or a friendly face.

Surrounding oneself with people, things, projects, etc. feels very safe and comforting. It feels like a buffer against the sentence of loneliness. Oh, I have my children around, my spouse is here, I will always have my pet with me.

Of course, none of this is true. And I think each one of us knows it.

The lovely skill lies in living a joyful and splendorous life while remaining fully aware of this reality.

Related Posts