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I grew up in a very tight knitted family and there is definitely nothing wrong with that.
As I grew older, I started wanting to do things that only I wanted to do and began doing them.
My mentality was that I needed to always do EVERYTHING with someone because it was just better that way.
Well one thing I have learned about myself is that I can be very, very socially awkward, and at times (depending on the environment of where I am) I develop a small dose of social anxiety.
Let’s go back to growing up for me.
I grew up with my four siblings: my oldest brother (Mr. Cool Guy), my younger brother (Mr. Clown), and my little sister (Mrs. Sassy Pants) and a few different cousins here and there.
These were my friends (aside from some cousins and neighborhood kids) that will remain in my life NO MATTER WHAT.
We went to school together, we ate together, we played together, we did sports, we shared meals together, we spent almost every second of every day together. We hardly did anything alone… Hardly, meaning NEVER.
Fast forward to adulthood, and doing anything alone or without the others is foreign to us but becoming part of each of our norms, thanks to friends and coworkers that we have made along the way.
Now to my main point…
I have realized as an adult that there are some major benefits to having time, trips, friends and (dare I say it) lives apart from those familiar to us.
Having Alone Time…
1. Helps clear the mind.
Being alone with my own thoughts and ideas helps me to be an independent individual. Growing up with siblings, we always wanted to know what the other thought of everything (and again none of this is bad… having a sense of self definitely is a good thing though) and what ideas they had. I have found that I think best and meditate best on my own… even away from my husband at times. Typically my alone time consists of my journaling and talking to Jesus… clarity at its finest! (NOTE: I do still run a lot by my family and everything by my husband out of love and respect)
2. Builds a sense of confidence.
This confidence is focusing on the traveling aspect of life. I was TERRIFIED of going anywhere alone… granted, I don’t like to always go to a baby shower, a birthday party or graduation without my siblings even at this age… BUUUUT as an adult, we are sometimes just forced to have to do things on our own.
For instance, about 6 or 7 years ago now, it was on my heart to go on a mission trip to Haiti. Can you imagine my family’s reaction when I told them that? They wanted to lock me in a room with a deadbolt on the outside. I knew though that this was not just something that I wanted to do physically… because let’s be honest, Haiti isn’t the first place you think of when you think of going on your first trip out of your city, or state or even country…. this was a spiritual calling that I knew only God would bring me to do and through.
I ended up going to Haiti, I survived and most of all, I learned the POWER OF PRAYER!
That was the first trip that I can honestly say helped me build confidence in traveling alone… I started going all over the place… Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Arizona, Northern California, and the list WILL continue.
Trust me, traveling with anybody is always fun, but it is definitely doable on your own with people other than the circle you grew up with.
3. You gain freedom
This is similar to number 2, but I believe it’s a very different point.
As children, we start off as wanting to do everything on our own. We get a little older, and siblings or parents (our culture) ultimately directs the way we think and act from childhood all the way to adulthood.
Branching off to have alone time as an adult is probably the most freeing thing that I have experienced. I feel that there are so many people my age who have this mentality of doing things the way that they were told they have to by their parents, teachers or even society.
When you take a step back and really think about the beauty and simplicity of having time alone, you realize that you can think however the heck you want to and ultimately live the way you want to.
This is freeing not only for yourself but also for people who you encounter through your perspective.
Let me elaborate because that became kind of hippie”ish”. (ain’t nothing wrong with hippie mentality… so don’t even think I’m bashing any certain group of people… I’m all about that peace and love in a different way though… ANYWHO…)
Society has this mentality that we should worry about what everyone has to say about us, think about us and ultimately act upon based on what they think is best for us. If we as individuals dive into the freedom of enjoying the time alone that we all desire to be ourselves, we see that other people have that capability as well. Therefore, if we all just look at the time we can spend alone as a time to improve upon who we are as individuals and respect each other with that perspective, things would run a lot smoother and much more peacefully internally and ultimately externally.
Take a Break
Did this become super “peace and love” like? Sue me!
Time to ourselves is not a bad thing. Siblings and time with others is not a bad thing.
All of these things help us be who we are, humans. But being our own person apart from everyone else is probably the healthiest choice we can make as individuals for ourselves as well as each person we come into contact with. Take some time, and be content with having a little bit of alone time today…
PEACE AND LOVE!