“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”Henry David Thoreau
I love solitude.
There is a special peace that shadows hearing your own thoughts and fully experiencing your own senses without interruption.
I compare solitude to any kind of self-care activity that is done alone. Today I went for a long walk around town by myself. I listened to empowering music, took time to gather my thoughts, and rewarded my exercise with a smoothie bowl from my favorite diner. This private time with myself is something I so deeply cherish. As a listener, a bartender, and a therapist to many– sometimes just being alone is more peaceful than a Caribbean trip (that may be pushing it, a tad), but still, it’s a cleanse for my mind.
However, due to the absence of another human to talk my ear off, comes the unwanted stares and shouts from those passing by me. Sometimes it is difficult to get in that calming headspace when you fear catcalls and gawking eyes. Going to stores by myself is the worst as a shirt with a little too low of a neckline is a welcome to over-analyze my body.
I could stay in my room and be content with my nighttime reading as my solitude, but it is not the same and I refuse to live in fear.
Ladies, we do not have to live in fear.
We should not feel like we need to walk in packs to the grocery store to feel safe, or be accompanied by our husbands or boyfriends on our walk to protect us from blaring horns and “hey hot stuff.”
There has long been a stigma regarding women going out on their own. We are considered “fair game” because we choose to go out in public without a sidekick or a protector. We should not be viewed as prey to the outside world because we go to Marshall’s alone to roam the aisles and smell the candles. Oh, and it’s hot out, so we are wearing shorts, which makes our scent even more pungent for an attack.
I am not saying that every public domain is the place to find your solitude. I don’t suggest going to a bar, for one, but there is no reason to hold yourself back from jogging on the beach, shopping at the mall, or going to your favorite coffee shop alone. Be aware of your surroundings, but don’t let anyone scare you out of enjoying your “me” time.