Friday, 22 February 2013

On Being Your Own Best Friend

touque (US translation: beanie) {Steve Madden via Century 21} - sweater {Forever 21} - black skinnies {Old Navy}
brown boots {Steven by Steve Madden via Century 21} - photo credit {Kiki}

We all know the cliche "you have to love yourself before someone will love you" and while I know that this saying probably causes a lot of eye rolling, I think there is some truth to it. I am an "alone" person and what I mean by that is I enjoy spending time by myself. I'm not talking about the regular day to day things that you do on your own, like riding the subway to work/school or going to the gym. I'm talking about hanging out with yourself. Taking yourself on adventures, be it an afternoon of shopping, exploring a new part of the city, sitting down at a restaurant for a solitaire meal or going to a museum or even a movie by yourself. I think this is an important part of figuring out who you are, or maybe more importantly, who you want to be. I believe that you have to know who you are as a single before you can become a pair. This comes inherently to some people, while others have to learn to be comfortable being by themselves. I don't know if I've always been this way, but I certainly know that I've spent a lot of time by myself over the past two years and it has been good for me. There is a certain freedom that comes with being by yourself because you get to do whatever it is YOU want to do. You don't have to cater to anyone else's feelings or desires or make any sacrifices whatsoever. This may seem selfish but I think that being selfish sometimes is necessary. It's necessary in the sense of personal development and growth but also in the sense of building and maintaining relationships (both friendly and romantic). I mean, if you don't want to hang out with you, what makes you think other people do?

New York is the perfect city for hanging out with yourself because anything goes here. You wouldn't look "weird" going to a restaurant (or even a bar!) on your own. I get a rush sometimes when I'm walking the streets solo, listening to my tunes and I know that I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want. It's liberating, in a sense. I wonder if being single has enabled me to spend more time by myself (in a word, yes). But even if you are in a relationship doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't make time for you. I think it's important to find out what makes you tick. Someone once asked me if I ever got bored being by myself. The answer was a resounding NO! Quite the opposite, really. I do all my big thinking and pondering when I'm alone, come up with all my best ideas. Like there is consistent chatter with another person, there is consistent thoughts running through my head and when I'm alone, I have the chance to sort through them and decide what to do with them.

If you are one of those people who would rather not spend time alone, for whatever reason you may have, I encourage you to try it. Start small, with baby steps. If the thought of going to the movies sans your posse makes you cringe, try taking yourself out for coffee first. What is your favorite thing to do with your closest friend, give it a try on your own and see how it feels. You may just surprise yourself and end up enjoying it. Learn to love being by yourself and in turn you will end up learning to love yourself. And since we're all kind of stuck with ourselves for the rest of our lives, that may just be the best gift you could give yourself.

j.

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