I once had a boyfriend tell me the most profound thing. It’s been a few years so my memory may be a little fuzzy, but to paraphrase, he said, “Stephanie, I am always with people, but you, you do things on your own a lot. I am not like that.” Neither he nor I probably understood the weight of the that statement at the time.
I am pretty sure I actually took it as an insult. My thought process probably went something like, “Is he calling me a loner? Hey, I have friends and plenty of them! I am a very social person. Is he calling me anti-social? I get along easily with most people.” Pause. Hold the phone. Hit the breaks on my overly sensitive 20-year-old brain. Luckily, my perspective has shifted since then and I’ve matured to see things differently.
The truth is, my boyfriend at the time was right. He saw something in me that I didn’t see or wasn’t willing to see, my ability to forge my own path and do my own thing. While I consider myself to be an outgoing person, I also have a little bit of introvert blended in my personality as well. Sometimes it feels great to go out with a group of friends and spend time together, but other times, it feels so good to spend time at home on the sofa listening to music, resting or writing (guilty as charged at the moment). I had never thought of myself as someone who liked to be alone until someone else pointed it out, and he was right!
Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody)
“What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.” Audrey Hepburn
In a social media obsessed world where everyone knows what everyone else is doing at every moment, I take solace in quiet. I love the moments of peace in the mornings when I go for a run. I love roaming around a book store for hours in search of finding new writers to inspire me. I like to turn up my music and get lost in the beat while I’m cooking a meal. We all need these moments of solitude to think, to recuperate, to channel our thoughts. It becomes an issue when we can’t take time to ourselves and become more concerned with what everyone else is doing.
I challenge you for the year 2014 to spend time on your own. Get to know yourself. Get in touch with your inner voice and find some peace and quiet. Unplug your phone and disconnect from social media for days or weeks at a time. Having friends and being social is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. However, too much of anything isn’t good for you.
Don’t be afraid to go your own way. The way to find your truest desires and dreams is by getting to know the person staring back in the mirror. Make sure to nurture and honor that person. Don’t be afraid of a little solitude. As Audrey Hepburn said, do your own thing. Because that is the only way you will live a life worth living.