It took me such a long time to realise just how amazing it is to be alone.
As a youngster living in my older brother’s shadow, I ended up spending days or hours alone, passed up or forgotten by the other children. Unlike my effervescent sibling, I had difficulties making friends and learning where I fit in. So I was left to my own devices. And at that stage of my life, I saw it as a cruel punishment.
If only I knew then what I know now: time building a relationship with yourself is never a punishment; it’s a privilege and the foundation for future success.
Spending time alone is never really that, because you’re never truly alone. You are always with yourself, no matter where you are. I think someone famous said that.
In my life adventure, I found it so difficult to fit in anywhere. I jumped from country to country during my formative years and never quite found a home. Somewhere along the journey I figured it out: I was the common denominator. I was the reason why I wasn’t fitting in. Not because I wasn’t “normal” (let’s be honest, no one ever is), but because I never really took the time to learn who I was.
All those years of spending time alone, I never had deep, reflective moments with myself. I would do anything in my power to occupy my mind, keeping the difficult questions at bay. But as soon as I started looking inward, I tapped into the reality of myself.
That’s when I began the most important friendship of my life – the one with myself. No matter what you do in your life or what your relationship status is, you’re always going to be there. You can never fully give yourself to someone or something until you know what you’re giving. And the only way to do that is to spend quality time alone.