Now a days, the first question that people ask whenever they see me is-
-HOW DID YOU LOSE ALL THAT WEIGHT?
(^written in uppercase because they actually shout)
Being my polite self, I reply, a slight change in diet and going for walks everyday. Immediately the question that succeeds is:
-Who do you go for walks with, huh?
(Lowercase because they are no longer shouting and their interest in my answer intensifies with the hope that I might have developed slight emotions towards someone and hence romantic walks with ‘The One’)
“I walk alone”
(Uppercase again because shouting resumes)
For some people, it’s unimaginably bonkers and crazy. The thought of a person being on their own is mundane or pedestrian according to the rest. But I beg to differ, sire and madam.
Now, I am going to sound super emo-ish, but bear with me.
IT IS COMPLETELY OKAY TO BE ALONE.
I think I have mentioned this in one of my post before, when growing up, I did not have many people to hang out with apart from the friends that I had at school. I wasn’t the socializing kind. Never was, never will be. But at least now, I make attempts to be so. Anyway, back in class 8, my elder sister got married and my brother was in his rebellious early adult phase, so I was left alone to be with myself at home. Let’s face it, 14-15 year olds aren’t very comfortable ‘being friends’ with their parents.
Books became my companion. And I liked it that way. Who am I kidding? I LOVED IT! I knew that I would continue reading books for the foreseeable future. It wasn’t just a phase. What I didn’t know was, reading would become an integral part of my life. Not only did it let me live the fantastical life that my imagination muttered, but also, it helped me spend time with myself and become comfortable with my somewhat boring thoughts. Which a lot of people aren’t. That made a lot of difference and a big part of who I am today is because of it.
I always like to talk about my personal experiences when I write about something. Just so that people can relate to it better.
Apart from reading, this is how I like experimenting with being alone:
Now that I’m in college, I am around people for about a minimum of 8 hours everyday. Some friends, some classmates and some just acquaintances. I go out, I talk, socialize, I feel very involved. Participating in every extra curricular activity that I can possibly lay my evil hands on, I like being busy. As much as I like it all, the best part of my day begins at 8pm.
No matter how tired I am, or how much my back aches because of the rigorous schedule, I NEED to be out of my house at 8pm. Because that is the time when I go for my walk. Now, some people can call me old fashioned or simply boring, but that 1 hour of me being with myself is the most exhilarating hour of my day. This has been my routine for about 10 months now.
Initially when I started to go for walks alone, it was very awkward. I used to phone a friend and talk to them for about an hour, but realised that it was a bad idea as my phone bill soared high. With time, I got used to it. The walks. People stared. Looking at that one girl who comes for a walk for 7 days week all by herself. To come back to the question, “How do you walk alone?”
Frankly, I don’t have an answer. I don’t think I will be able to explain it either. But the feeling of it, it’s gorgeous. I love it. These walks. They are beautiful.
I am not saying that you shun every innate human contact and settle in the woods and be alone.
What I am saying is, there are times when you find yourself with just your solitude. No one else. And these are the times when you feel sad and maybe, depressed.
“I don’t have anyone to talk to!”
“I need to get into a relationship”
“I am so lonely”
I cannot really get the hang of these above statements. People think that when someone is alone, they are either unwanted or depressed. But that isn’t so. And what is worse, these very people believe that others will be able to make them happy despite of being unable to do it themselves.
HOW DO YOU EXPECT SOMEONE TO BEAR YOU WHEN YOU CANNOT BEAR YOURSELF?
(Yes, I’m shouting)
Although I shouted and asked the above question, I think I know the answer.
“What will people think?”
People will think that you are crazy to go for walks alone.
People will stare at you if you are sitting in a restaurant alone.
People will judge.
They will make you feel awkward even if you weren’t feeling so before. They will make you feel lonely even if you are at peace with yourself. But wait, who exactly are these people that we are talking about? Their opinions of you matter? Their judgements mould your life?
(Again, not telling anyone to become anti social and ignore your friends)
What I’m trying to say is, if you find yourself in a situation where you have no one to talk to, try and get comfortable with your self.
Dance with your thoughts.
Smile at all the silly moments that you had during the day.
Or just read that Murakami book that you have been meaning to read for the past few months.
Just don’t feel bad for yourself for being on your own. Nothing is worse than you pitying yourself. I have learnt this lesson the hard way, the story of which I will reserve for another day.
(Side note: As of now, I have a good friend who goes for these walks with me. I enjoy her fellowship. Although she slacks a lot. I hope you are reading this)
When you fall in love with yourself, you won’t really need a lot of people for the same.
When people ask me why I don’t date, I just shrug. Maybe because I haven’t found anyone whose presence makes me feel happier than my own companionship does.