I want you to learn how to be alone.
No music. No books (*cringe*). No Twitter. No errands.
In the Alone Challenge, you have to take 30 minutes and sit alone in a public place with no distractions. It’d be best if you went during lunch rush, when everybody else has a friend to sit with. If this sounds like the severest form of torture, then this challenge is for you. Why do you need to learn how to be alone when there’s Instagram? Because like it or not, you are the person you will spend the most time with in your life. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew how to keep yourself company?
The answer is decidedly affirmative, but learning how to be alone is not easy.
At first, you’ll feel horrible, like every single eye is watching you. If people recognize you, they’ll wonder whether or not you need them to come sit with you. You have to tell them no if they ask. I am purposefully isolating you. I am telling you now, you’ll feel really unimportant, unloved, and small. It’s your job to turn that around. And here’s how you’re going to do it:
Take up all the space at your table.
Put your legs up on the chair. Put your bag on the table. Spread out and command your space. The key is to not panic. Ride out the anxiety because, before you know it, your body will adapt. You are, after all, an astounding creature.
You’ll develop a heightened sense of your surroundings, noticing every minute detail. You’ll recognize the hairs on your arms standing up, that the paint on the walls is the same as your high school English teacher’s room, that there are infinite combinations of body types and styles in the world. For the first time in a long time, you’ll taste your food: every granule, fiber, and molecule full of flavor. And most hearteningly, you’ll actually see other people who are alone, too. Don’t they look completely normal? Unharmed? You’re not alone in being alone.
30 whole minutes pass. You’re still alive. Now you have some options:
1) Vow on your iPhone’s grave that you will never, never, ever do that again.
2) Scoff at my silly challenge. “That was easy!” Oh, yeah? Try an hour.
3) Jot down the paths your mind took. Your body takes advantage of any rest you give it, and there will surely have been a moment of clarity.
4) Challenge someone you know who hates being alone to do it, too. I can think of 3 people off the top of my head who would rather die than take this challenge. Who are your 3? (Oh, look. There’s that pesky number again.)
Comment below if you take the challenge! Tell me, was it as bad as you thought? Or did I underestimate you?
Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. All my love.