The Art of Being Alone With Yourself

What comes to mind when you think of the word “alone?” Can “aloneness” transcend physicality? Is it a state of mind or a state of self?

Rederick, or the tradition of studying how language creates meaning, is dedicated to learning the complexities of words and the definitions that arise as people use them. Language is arbitrary. It is a science that appeals more to emotions than rationality—conventional and traditional forms and sounds, which are definitely indefinite and indefinitely definite. Ergo, between two people, meanings can change. Why, then, has society convinced us that being alone is such a bad thing? More importantly, why do we flinch at the mere idea of being alone with ourselves?

Merriam-Webster defines “alone” as being ‘separated from others,’ but it could also mean being separated from ourselves—a pariah to our own society. Perhaps, the claim I am about to make, that so much of our fear of being alone stems from a feeling of unhappiness beset towards ourselves, is as real as the emotions themselves.

As kids, we grew up with the concept of completeness; half a cookie is not nearly as good as an entire chocolate chip cookie. When you grow up with siblings, you know when you are secretly being cheated a few inches off that slice of cake, so you take a ruler and even things out. It is in the older years when we start to question that sense of completeness. Common sense dictates that it takes two halves to make a whole, and so we begin to embark on a quest in search of our ‘other half.’ As if all along, we were not complete already. We go around looking for ourselves in other people, and most of the time, we always seem to come up empty-handed and more disappointed. Perhaps, all this time, we have been looking at it all wrong. How do you find something that was never lost in the first place? Look deeper. You have always been right here, and that has always been enough.

Look deeper. You have always been right here, and that has always been enough.

In all that time we have spent swiping right and investing in the wrong people, we have inopportunely ceased the most important expedition every Life traveler must voyage—the journey of creating better versions of our selves. The crucial bit that no one tells us about progress is that it is the little things that count the most.

What am I trying to say? What meanings have my words echoed to your listening minds? Have I conveyed a distant, yet genuine sense of understanding for the profound, lingering void that settles in our bones every time we are left alone in the company of a face in a mirror so familiar and foreign at the same time? Have my words made sense, or have they been reduced to shallow platitudes and tripe?

To add clarity to the vagueness, I ask you to think of yourself as both the artist and the canvas, the paint and the brush. The artist may not always be certain what becomes of her painting, but it is in the creative process where she uncovers fragments of the bigger picture.

It may come to her first in accidental strokes of moments that cultivate her character or monumental decisions that shape her personal truths. Whichever it may be, I implore you to remember this: Both the masterpiece and the master need time and space to bloom, this is the art of being alone with yourself.