The title of this post might sound a little sad, but it’s actually supposed to be the opposite. You see, learning how to be OK with doing things alone and being on your own without anyone else is a huge thing to learn in the game of life. It sounds lonely and sad, but it’s a really helpful way of knowing who you genuinely are and what YOU love and care about, not what anyone else does.
I grew up the youngest of 6 kids, which meant I was the baby of the family. I still am, especially when holiday season comes around. It’s natural to sometimes take the roles we group in in certain situations. I learned to be quiet, and try not to be a burden. I grew up with 5 siblings who protected me with their life, and we all grew up really close. In the midst of all this, though, was I started to realize that I lost myself. I’m not sure if this is how all youngest children are, but I definitely learned how to blend in with the crowd. The older, bigger siblings took over and they had more say in what went and what didn’t.
It’s something I’ve dealt with my whole life, and being the youngest doesn’t mean it’s all bad. It just means it comes with it’s caveats.
Within the last year, I’ve been out on my own for pretty much the first time. I’ve also had my first ‘adult’ job which has been hard to adjust to. But, the main thing I have been learning is how to be OK on my own. It’s easy to want to rely on my older siblings, or other people who look after you and want to take care of you. It’s easy to be drawn into this world where things are safe. But, learning how to be alone and do things alone.
When we learn how to be ok with being alone, we learn that it’s not the end of the world having to be by ourselves. You don’t always have to be around people in order to feel normal. I think being alone means you can listen to your own voice over anyone else’s, and learn to hear what you believe in. When there are so many other voices around, it’s easy to get lost in the opinions and lose your perspective.
Being on your own, even if it’s just one night a week or for 15 minutes once a week, means you can learn to listen to what you have to say. Instead of pretending to go along with what everyone else wants. Following what everyone else does can leave you feeling pretty empty when the day is over and all you have is yourself. With no voices telling you things, it can be scary. To really face who you are and see what you believe. Some people never want to face this. I think it’s very important to learn and develop that skill.
If more people did this, and self-reflected, we’d all probably be a lot happier. We’d know our limits, our boundaries, what makes us tick. We’d know when to say no and when to speak up if we didn’t think something was right. Instead of walking around with anger building up inside, and hating the other people around us. Maybe more people would know empathy and compassion, instead of wanting justice.