Today, I am 20 years old. I am also alone.
Also today, I drove 35 miles to the nearest "large" town from my small town college. I had my photo taken for my passport, got lost in the "big city" of twenty-thousand people, got un-lost without using my GPS, dealt with the crabby automotive employees at Walmart, and ordered some deliciously greasy Chinese take-out.
P.S.--I also did all of those things...alone.
If someone would have told me that I would be okay with having to do things on my own even 4 years ago, I probably would have cried. Even a couple of years ago I firmly believed I would have a permanent fixture next to me everywhere I went. And I can distinctly remember measuring my worth and status in the world by who was constantly by my side.
But here I am, sitting on my couch in my cool-cat apartment, listening to classical music on Pandora obnoxiously loud and spilling my words out into an article. Alone. And I am okay with that.
Life is rough, and it is so great to have people who can hold me up when I am at rock-bottom. But it's even more rewarding to be able to pick yourself up off the bathroom floor at 2 a.m. and realize you are strong enough completely on your own.
Society likes to make us believe we can't really enjoy things or feel things without being surrounded by others. It likes to make us think all of our happiness can literally be inside one other person.
But, I promise you, this isn't true. I spent almost the entire day on my own. I made my own decisions. I smiled at whoever I wanted, and I laughed when I felt the urge. At this point in my life, when I am completely alone, I feel the happiest and most free.
Happiness and freedom aren't bottled up inside of other people. They are both everywhere, and free for the taking.
You don't have to do everything on your own, just try to do a few, uninterrupted things for yourself and by yourself. Grab a quick lunch at a cute diner. Read a book at a park. Take a walk. Go to a concert on your college campus. Visit the new art gallery. Run some errands. You can even just stay home and bake cookies or binge watch Grey's Anatomy.
Just simply allow yourself to be alone with yourself--and truly get to know that person. You might be surprised what you find. And who knows? You might even find happiness, joy, and freedom along the way.