I'm an ENFP, Hufflepuff, and Sagittarius: the perfect recipe for a socialite.
Shortly after graduating college, however, I moved to upstate New York: an outgoing person's nightmare. Being accustomed to the hustle and bustle of Long Island, the move to the country was not an easy adjustment. I lived alone in a two-bedroom apartment that was previously an old farm house. The floorboards would creek and the oven was straight out of the '60s. My nearest neighbor was miles away and lived on a farm. Every morning I would wake up to 20 wild turkeys on my lawn and the faint sound of horses neighing in the distance. My address could not be found on modern GPS devices –– I was living in quintessential rural America.
As a gregarious individual, spending time alone has always been painful. When I moved to small-town New York, I knew I had to adapt to this lifestyle. My mental health began to deteriorate, so I knew I had to learn how to spend time alone.
When I first moved into my apartment, I had no social life. I would come straight home from work and instantly began binging Netflix. Yes, I was spending time alone. However, I was not spending time alone the right way. After several months of watching TV until my eyes burned, I began picking up old hobbies. I was playing guitar again, I was drawing again, and I was being myself again.
Although I was in a better place mentally, I still had to learn how to spend time alone outside of my eerily empty apartment. I began running again as a means to bypass time. Each day I began running more and more, until I decided to register for my first marathon. During my training, I spent hours running up and down the rolling hills of the country side. In that moment, I knew I would conquer the art of spending time alone.
WHY I SPEND TIME ALONE
As a marketing guru, spending time alone has been imperative for the creative juices to flow and to increase my overall productivity. Some of my biggest and brightest ideas hit me while I mind was roaming.
Spending time alone gave me a deeper understanding of who I am as a person. This self-realization was calming and restorative. Allowing my mind to wander without structure taught me what it truly means to decompress. There's a sense of freedom that comes with the solitude of being alone. What once was a terrifying experience, is now comforting.
Now get out there and spend time alone.