Being Alone

August 26, 2010 39 Comments TAGS: Beauty, Friendship, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Wellness

When was the last time you went to see a movie alone? When was the last time you went to a cafe, brought a book or magazine, bought a tea or coffee, and sat outside under the umbrella and read quietly? When was the last time you brought your gorgeous self over to a bistro for lunch, treated yourself to a glass of wine, and ate a delicious meal alone?

being alone

Being alone. Something I want you to think about today. Truly being alone. Comfortable in your own skin. No distractions. No cell phones. No husbands. No kids. No girlfriends. Just you.

I finally saw Eat Pray Love last week. And funny enough, when I read the book years ago, I found myself bored to tears throughout most of it. But something in the move completely moved me. I loved it. Something  resonated so deep down inside, that I cried on and off for two straight hours. Besides watching the beautiful scenery of Italy (for Eat), India (for Pray) and Bali (for Love), it was Julia Roberts that brought Elizabeth Gilbert the author, so much to life. And while I couldn’t identify with most parts of her story, parts of it were scarily so very ME.

For those of you that don’t know the premise, it’s about a burned-out successful female writer living in an unhappy, unfulfilled marriage who decides to leave her husband and travel the world alone for a year to find herself, and document her experiences. And while I couldn’t identify with living unhappily in a marriage, if I can be honest, which is where I am the most honest, here on my Blog with you, I identified with sometimes wanting to run away and be alone. The thought of peace and tranquility and clearing your mind from the daily grind. From homework, from work, from chatter and noise. To clear your head from routines and ruts, from schedules and carpools, from events and obligations. To just up and leave, and let the world be your oyster. To meet up with strangers, other bright and dynamic women and sit and chat for hours and learn about other cultures. To not have to answer to anyone, nor be accountable for a period of time felt so free, and I escaped in that feeling for two hours.

eat pray love julia roberts

Now, I am an only child, so being alone is a very comfortable place for me. It’s when I do most of my thinking, growing and learning. It’s not to depress you or sound dark, but I am truly my most comfortable alone. This is not to say my most cherished moments are not being with my adoring husband and wonderful children and incredible family. My happiest thoughts are of  us laughing, hanging out, playing and being a family. They are my life, my reason for getting up in the morning. But I also love to be alone. Those of you who live in Montreal can often spot me anywhere ALONE. I shop alone. I often eat alone. I can peruse through a library or bookstore for two hours alone. I like to take my own car everywhere I go. I like to be able to slide out the back door if something bores me. I like moving at my own pace… which on some days is snail-pace, and on other days, is catch-me-if-you-can pace.  I guess you could say I’m a loner, despite being a very talkative, outgoing and loud person. And despite having many wonderful girlfriends.

But I know from experience that being alone can be wonderful. And I don’t mean being a divorced, single woman alone. I mean being alone as a married woman or in a committed relationship. I mean taking moments, your own moments, to re-discover yourself. Does that make sense to you? I mean getting comfortable with yourself without distraction. Closing your eyes and listening to your Ipod. Reading without any distraction. Heading downtown shopping without needing the approval of anyone to tell you if something looks good or not, if you look too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall. I can tell you from experience, every successful decision I have ever made, has come to me while being alone. And I think we often underestimate our own capabilities. Whenever I have been on the fence in my life, I have been the one to uncover the answers. Not my husband, not my parents, not my friends. So what does all this mean for you? It means that there is only ONE PERSON in this world who has all the answers to your questions. That person is YOU. And you will discover those answers to your questions if you learn to be alone and spend the time.

Watch this. Don’t laugh. It can seem weird or funny. But watch it ’till the end. I’m sure if you allow it to, something will click inside and you’ll understand why being alone is imperative to your happiness.

Now, for the first time, I’d like to give you homework for the weekend. Try it out, and let me know how it goes. I hope you come to make big life decisions, on your own. I’m not saying not to bounce your ideas off of the people you love, but really, all the answers lie within you. So get comfortable getting to really know yourself. Here’s your homework. Reach out to me either on the comments section below or via email on how it goes for you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

xoxEDxox

    39 Comments

    1. […] loved today’s topic. I would like to share what bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote recently on how we judge […]

    2. […] 5, 2011 krissy Leave a comment It was so funny when I read this blog post on being alone because I had just been thinking about that today.  When you have children […]

    3. Levi (ms) says:

      Hello Erica,

      Simply alone is a wonderful feeling knowing that you got a family who loves you. Both my partner and I are both retired, we both love our solitude, we both have our own rooms, we both watch different tv shows….aloneness gives you the magic of thinking, of becoming creative, of sharing deeper thoughts with the self….so I believe that we humans love the times alone. Now, if you experience loneliness while being alone, you need to speak to the higher self. A great subject, many, many answers….love your blog.

      Erica, you look so much like my daughter who actually lives alone (Architect/Urban Planner) in Montreal, and, she tells me that she is having a grand time…

      Thank you for letting me share.

      Levi

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    10. Mary Ruth says:

      I found your blog while searching for something else.

      I was born and lived on a farm until I was 10 in Nova Scotia. This meant no TV or any form of distracting noise. I was alone with nature and myself to amuse. I lived in the US since and always missed the solitude through my busy life. I recently made the decision to return to a quiet slower paced life for my retirement. The missing links since then are coming back to me. Solitude, quiet (I do not run TV, radio, etc all day) while I spend my days. I am adjusting to the quiet quite nicely, it is like a reunion with an old friend. The slowed pace is so welcomed because I feel I have the time to do whatever I need to do without deadline pressure. No more watching the clock like it is a timebomb. And I realize that I spent many hours, days, years running with a pack (other running friends, workmates, etc) and not really living my life.

      I enjoyed reading and listening to your words on solitude. Running away? no.. becoming more sane is the brave part and living busy lives is the part where we do the running away!

    11. I was searching in google for something else, but I have to admit your website is really good

    12. Alison says:

      I grew up in a family of 6, and now it’s me, my son, the two cats & fish – and I STILL love having time to myself! My latest ‘loving solo’ is riding my motorcycle (Suzuki SV650S) on 500kms+ road trips. There is nothing in the world like being on your own, at your own pace, and [re-]discovering your inner ‘pioneer’ while discovering spectacular out-of-the-ordinary places 🙂

    13. I love being alone and used to things by myself all the time, I once spent a week in Paris alone. I miss it a lot and can’t wait until my life will allow me more regular me time.

    14. Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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