Enjoying Your Own Company
Presumably, you’ve been huddled up with your family and friends for the past ten months, avoiding large social gatherings and keeping to yourself. While staying safe during these treacherous times is important, it’s also very isolating. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent more time in my room this year than I have since my family moved here. Mind you, I’m an introvert so I’m not too big on crowds in the first place, but this year has really pushed my limits. I’m home with my family, of course, but I can only take so much of my little brothers screaming and my mother’s reality television shows. Thus, I can usually be found in my bedroom, all alone.
Being alone isn’t bad per se, but it tends to be a bit lonely. I must preface this by explaining that being alone and loneliness are very different. The action of being alone can conjure up many different emotions, both positive and negative. Loneliness is one of the feelings more commonly associated with solitude, but it can also materialize in the most crowded spaces. The pairing of the two together says more about human’s preconceived notions about them than anything else.
Humans are social beings, there’s no way around it. In a year where most social interactions are frowned upon, many desperately search for ways to stay connected, appreciated, and loved. Thanks to modern technology, all your closest friends are a text or Facetime away, but online communication comes with its own loneliness. Calls get dropped, Zoom glitches and crashes, the outside world becomes more and more unbearable. So, it’s become increasingly important to grow and learn to appreciate your own company, if not for the peace of mind, then at least to get your eyes off of the computer screen.
The first step to learning how to enjoy your own companionship is understanding why you don’t. We tend to gravitate towards those who share similar interests to ourselves, or who complement our demeanors. We feel the need to share everything, to be appreciated and seen. It can be a bit difficult to see the value in doing certain things when there’s no one around to acknowledge that effort. We ask ourselves; why care if no one else does? So, I ask; why does it matter what anyone else thinks? We can’t see or hear each other’s thoughts. At the end of the day, the only person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions you can control are your own. Put more effort into yourself, and thoughts of others will simply fall away.
Make the space you spend most of your time in a place you actually want to be. Tear down posters and decor that don’t remind you of yourself anymore. Reorganize shelves that likely haven’t been touched in years. Throw out things you don’t remember buying, wearing, or owning. Move furniture around so that your space feels like new. Assemble an atmosphere of warm and welcoming energy, a place you’ll always feel comfortable in. Make your home feel like yours again. You might as well enjoy where you are for the time being, we still don’t know when this will all be over.
Then, just make more time for things you enjoy. School and work are important, but they’re meaningless if you’re not taking care of yourself. Go on long walks while listening to music or podcasts or the outside world. Steal away and find clarity in the steady beat of nature. If you have something you want to say, share it with yourself. Speak ideas and thoughts out loud, then leave it at that. Let moments remain momentary. Create inside jokes with yourself, store them away for reminiscent laughs at later dates. Allow your mind to wander and race, becoming your own tether to reality and reason. The world outside is constantly moving, learn to enjoy the quiet moments this world offers you, find the subtle beauty in them.
I’m no expert on self love or solitude or anything of that nature, but I do know what it’s like to feel lonely. This is what works for me, what allows me to stay grounded when the world around me grows more strange and chaotic every day. Find what works for you. You’ll be with yourself for the long haul, you might as well enjoy the company you keep.