Perhaps it’s strange, but when I was younger, I always envied the older single women in my life more than the women with families.
I constantly thought about what their lives must be like: having as much alone time as they wanted, living in a space they didn’t have to share with anybody, being able to spend whole weekends entirely alone.
I looked at them and thought to myself, That is what I want.
I felt as if there was something so spectacular about the freedom of living alone and being alone. I never have been a girl who hated being alone. I loved half-days at school because it meant I could go straight home and spend an entire afternoon before my mom came home by myself, reading or playing alone. I loved summer because I didn’t have to spend entire days in the company of other people, having to be social and active. I hated sleepovers, unless I knew my friend really really well, because it meant I’d have to be “on” for an entire evening and morning and I always craved the comfort of my own bed and home. I was never a girl who made plans with friends on the weekends because I wanted my weekends for myself: to recharge after five days of being with people all day. Even college was tough and I spent so much time holed up in my dorm room my freshman year. And if I wasn’t in my dorm room, I was holed up at the bookstore, reading a novel I’d picked off the shelf.
I never wanted to admit any of that because it was this aspect of my personality that I abhorred. I felt that there was something weird or wrong with me for needing so much alone time. Nobody else around me seemed to struggle! They all seemed to enjoy spending time with other people and had this comfort level with themselves that I didn’t have.
I didn’t understand who I was, not when I was in college and certainly not when I was younger. But as I learned about my highly sensitive nature and my introversion, all of the puzzle pieces clicked into place for me.
This is just what it means to be a highly sensitive introvert. My body physically craves alone time. My senses send me signals when I’ve had too much. Being around people is overstimulating for me because I’m taking in everyone else’s energy and spending so much time processing the environment around me. Alone time is a necessity and I need bunches of it to feel like myself again.
I need quiet, I need peace, I need only myself.
And here I am today, a girl who knows who she is. A girl who accepts who she is. A girl who loves that she’s an introvert and completely okay with spending entire days alone.
I’m living the dream I wanted as a young girl: living alone and being alone. And it is everything I thought it would be, and more.
It is not lonely, but fulfilling. Not scary, but comforting. Not overwhelming, but exactly what I need.
There’s beauty in this space that’s all my own. A space I get to decorate as I please and clean as much or as little as I want (thankfully, I inherited my mom’s obsessive cleaning tendencies!). It’s a space to come to when I’m feeling overstimulated by too much social interaction, a space to relax and recharge.
It’s my home. And it’s all mine.
This is the life I desired when I was younger and, while someday I want to move from this stage to the one that is a husband and family, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of what I have today and appreciate the space and the joy of being alone.