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Being Alone Heals Me: An Introvert

 

“I’m an introvert… I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.”

-Audrey Hepburn

Yesterday afternoon, I spent approximately three (3) hours barely saying a word to anyone. I clocked out from work, and made my way to Little Tokyo on the other side of downtown L.A. I was in desperate need of an afternoon absolutely alone.

Lately, my weekends have been full. I would think that most people prefer busy, fun-filled weekends. Weekends brimming with events, gatherings, parties, dates, visits, so on and so forth… and it can be thrilling and some how fulfilling to know that people desire to spend time with you. I wrote a post once on the importance of using time in the way you see fit. Its a precious commodity, and I have always felt one should appreciate whenever someone takes time for you.

But, you see, by nature I am an introvert. That is usually interpreted as someone who is antisocial, aloof, and unwilling or unable to mingle with the outside world. That is simply not true. Introversion does not equate to agoraphobia; contrary to popular belief. In fact, I would venture to say I am a rather social and eager conversationalist. People often do not realize that being an introvert means to focus ones thoughts inward. This type of person thrives on time well spent alone. It is actually crucial to our survival as a species!

Audrey Hepburn, one of my favorite names in old Hollywood, was a decided introvert. Adored by millions for her movies, lovely face, and charming personality; and she of all people preferred a life of introspective solitude with only those few she trusted. A Hollywood legend! If she can be movie celebrity and an introvert, than I am sure my fellow introverts and I can live a double life, too. Personally, I have known since I was very young that I am one. So, one grows accustomed to needing days or periods of days alone. Today was one such day. However, I live in a bustling city where no one is ever really alone. On days like these, when I need me time, it usually manifests itself into my wandering around the city, letting my feet and my instincts direct the path for me. Which is how I ended up in Little Tokyo.

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Good food, good book, quiet atmosphere, and only my thoughts for company.

I spent an afternoon visiting little shops that I love, splurging on myself a little, and treating myself to a favorite meal at a restaurant I frequent quite often called Suehiro. I let myself delight in my favorite side dish of moyashi with grilled mackrel. I lingered over my meal, a book in my left hand, chopsticks dangling lazily in my right. I let my fingertips idle over the fabric of garments and my eyes take in every detail on delicate chain necklaces. I wallowed in the anime shop like a kid in a candy store and let giddiness wash over me. I walked with my face towards the waning autumn sun, it was warm, and a strong breeze swept over the city. It filled my lungs with clear, refreshing air; my mind was simultaneously invigorated and at peace. I hardly spoke to anyone; only saying what was absolutely necessary and nothing more. For over three hours silence reigned and I allowed myself the indulgence of delving deeply into my own thoughts.

It was perfect, and so very needed.

Introverts need time to themselves in order to thrive. It is when we are alone and left to our own devices that we are able to recharge. So, there are days when I must be selfish – if only for a few hours – and push every one out. It is when I am alone that I am best able to compose my thoughts. It is when I am at my most creative, and I come up with ideas and topics to write about for this blog! It is when I create outfit ensembles. It is when I am able to make sense of the world, when I am able to process all that has occurred around me. It is, quite frankly, when I am at my best.

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…happy girls are the prettiest… ¹

I know this about myself, it took years to learn, and I am much happier for learning it.

“I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.”

-Audrey Hepburn

I must also add that it is my belief that we all need to take time to care for the relationship we have with ourselves. That connection is of the utmost importance. When I was younger, I tried to be like every one else. Or at least the image they projected. With social media we only have an infinitely tiny cross-section of the big picture. We all work incredibly hard to make our lives appear far more fascinating than they may actually be. I once forced myself to go out every weekend and do something… anything. It was exhausting. Often times, I longed for a quiet Friday night at home watching a favorite movie and painting my nails. But we are convinced that is not good enough, so back we go into the race. I focused so hard on what others’ perspectives of my life would be, that I some how lost myself along the way. I would have to stop, back track, and look for who I was before I could go on any further. In time, I decided it would be much easier to simply be myself now, and go with it along this road called life. I now know that in order to maintain stability, I need to be alone, occasionally. However, this may not be true for every one else, and so it is worth it to take the time to figure out what works for you. What do you need to do to nourish your relationship with yourself? Next to your significant other, it is the most important relationship you will ever have.

I encourage you to take a weekend, take a day, an hour – or three, and reconnect with yourself. It may be the best thing you do all week long.

Until we meet again, may we all be sweetly inspired.


Featured Image is a derivative of Photo Credit: audrey hepburn via photopin (license)
¹Photo Credit: #12 – audrey hepburn via photopin (license)

Unless otherwise noted, all images were taken by A. Reneé for Darling Afflatus, 2015. Please do not reuse images without permission.

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