During the 1950s, when actress Greta Garbo walked away from her very lucrative movie career and become nearly reclusive in New York City, she established "I want to be alone," and made sure to stick with it. She never married, had kids or even made an attempt to return to films, she made her money and lived off that for the rest of her life. She simply lead a quiet existence in New York, often wandering the city at all hours of the night.
We all want someone in our lives to share life experiences with, but what happens when we just want to escape and be left alone? We all have moments in our lives were we just want to separate and just do our own thing. It's not such an awful thing, sometimes it's necessary to save one's sanity.
I know of course it's important to surround yourself with people who love and support you, but there comes a point when you need to just be alone and gain perspective, especially when the world is making you nuts. Sometimes you are better off being alone.
I've been an only child, so I was forced to make my own fun. I did grow up with cousins -- seeing them on a tri-monthly basis -- but on a day-to-day basis, and because I lacked social skills, I didn't know how to get along with kids my own age. I was forced to entertain myself and I've carried that into adulthood. I enjoy doing things by myself. I go to movies, concerts, whatever I want, because If I waited for someone to go anywhere I'd never go, and I have more fun by myself because I don't have to drag anyone along who doesn't want to go. It's a key piece of my independence and I hoard every moment of it.
I tried to convey this to my Aunt Mame, who said she admired my independence but she was a people person and couldn't imagine sitting in a restaurant with a book all alone, that she'd feel embarrassed that people were watching and judging her, but it's not true, people don't care what you do as long as you keep to yourself. Aunt Mame grew up surrounded by brothers and didn't really experience what being an only child feels like so it's not really something she could understand, but she makes an effort so that it's important.
People think that if you do things alone, it means you have no friends or not even a life, but what they don't understand is that we do have friends, we just choose to sometimes go our separate ways and not follow the crowd. Although I do look around and see people together experiencing certain things, and I do wish I could share it with someone -- and I will -- but for the time being, I know I am better off knowing I can do things for myself and not have to answer to anyone. I feel empowered and more confident.
Do you do things on your own or are you heavily dependent on others?
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