Being alone is not the same as being lonely.
I can’t think of anything more characteristic of being a woman than seeking freedom, empowerment and fulfilment. Looking to become the best version of ourselves, working our hardest every single day to find our voice, and get heard.
And I can’t tell you a secret short cut that will get us women to where we want to be; I’m still looking for it.
But I will tell you one thing; I have never felt more empowered, more free, more myself, than when making the conscious decision to be alone.
Being alone does not have to be lonely.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to tell you that to feel empowered you must let go of everyone in your life. In fact, it’s entirely the opposite. The magic comes when you have all those people in your life, who you could choose to always include in your plans; yet from time to time, you make the decision to explore the world by yourself, and unveil a side of you that you didn’t even know existed.
For a long time, women have been judged for seeking independence.
A woman walking alone in the street is the perfect target for catcalling. A woman looking to work her way up in her career is ungrateful for her family’s time and company. And a woman who doesn’t want to create a family? She’s absolutely nuts.
I could keep going, and I’m sure you could too. I can recall no point in history—not even today—where a woman hasn’t had at least one person judging her for choosing to grow independently; without the help of a man, or a man by her side.
I could bore you with the conversations we’ve all heard and experienced about society needing to move forward, but instead I’m going to focus on you.
What can you do today to help yourself be free and feel comfortable being independent?
Because, let’s be honest, no one’s going to do it for us anytime soon.
For a woman, becoming independent goes far beyond emancipating and finding a job; although, that does help.
Becoming independent is about making yourself your own personal safe space, dedicating quality time to yourself, and making plans with yourself. Because being alone does not make you lonely.
If you truly do this, and you make yourself a priority, you will start to understand so many things about who you are, who you want to be, what values matter to you, and what you need to let go of.
It will not only empower you to make choices for yourself, but I promise you, you will have so much more self-love because you will understand your worth.
I know this sounds like a lot.
How can you possibly achieve all that just from choosing to spend time on your own?
But I invite you to give it a try.
Do something you would usually do with someone else, but try it by yourself. Make a point of it in your mind. And whatever it is you choose to do, truly embrace it.
There are so many different ways in which you can choose to make plans with yourself.
You can go to the cinema when you’re feeling blue; because you want to forget about something that’s bothering you, or simply because there’s a movie you really want to watch. You can go to a restaurant or a bar, take a book to read or your laptop to write. Travel the world and get to know a place you’re dying to see, but can’t seem to fit in your partner’s calendar. Or, if you’re feeling completely crazy, move to a different country on your own.
If you never do things by yourself, and it scares you to take such big steps, then you can take it at your own pace. Maybe go for a walk instead, or lay down in the park for 15 minutes, where you won’t need to speak to any strangers, and can slowly build up being comfortable with yourself.
Whatever you choose, big or small, the most important thing is that you allow it to take you out of your comfort zone. Because it’s when you do, that you realise how incredibly powerful and independent you can be; and there’s nothing more rewarding than feeling at home in your own skin.
I have recently made it a thing for myself that I must visit a new place every month. Whether it’s the bar around the corner that I always walk by but never stop to have a drink at; a cool hike I’ve found on Instagram; or a weekend trip to the other side of the country.
But I have one rule: I have to do it alone.
And I encourage you to do the same. Try to make plans with yourself at least once a month, big or small.
Trust me when I tell you, when you start to do this and gradually build your confidence, it becomes addictive!
Always remember that you are alone by choice, you are not lonely. You are doing this for yourself, to continue to build up the independent woman inside of you.
And you don’t need anyone or anything to help you get there.