How to be Alone

Spending Saturday evening, and then Sunday morning, wandering Prague on my own (since my travel companions were enjoying rare moments without their two kids under 4, and parents) reminded me of what's it's like to experience things alone.

It's no wonder the restaurant hostess thought I might be a local, I was by myself. Table for one.

Sometimes I think it's nice to purposefully be a tourist alone, since you'll be more likely to meet someone new who's from the town you're visiting, or another tourist. You can sit on a bench and just watch the world go by, quietly taking it in. Why travel the world just to be wrapped up in conversation with the person you see every day at home? (For this reason, I also like Jason's contagious attitude of striking up conversations with anyone who makes eye contact in an elevator or nods at the cash register.)

It did honestly take me time to get used to being alone. Felt most acutely after moving into my own apartment. Despite Juliet being in the apartment just downstairs, it took self-coaching for alone to be something else besides --by definition-- lonely. Juliet was already a masterful recluse, used to quietly absorbing herself behind a closed door in reading, or sewing, or art. I didn't want to bother her all the time. But the laundry might have been timed according to times I did want to chat, and the washer/dryer was in her unit.

It took a little more time to start to actually enjoy being alone sometimes.

This little film is a nice articulation of it. On eating alone: "...some people at full tables will wish they were where you are."

"Society is afraid of alone though, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements...but lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless. And lonely is healing if you make it."

"Take the perspective you get from being just one person in one head."

But don't get me wrong by Sunday night in Prague, I was ready to come home and hang out with Jason. :)

I guess the beauty of company or being alone is having the choice of one over the other, when you want it.



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