“New York is one of the loneliest cities.” My roommate told me this the other day, and it just made me really sad. I hate being lonely, so why exactly did I move to apparently such a lonely place? In a city where you are surrounded by people most of the day everyday, it is easy to not be alone, but still feel lonely. However, while you can not be alone and still be lonely, on the flip side, you can also spend time alone without being lonely at all, and I think this is a lesson that I’m learning more about each day. My good friend Jake (who is having his own crazy adventure in France, check him out!) has talked about, and actually just blogged about, developing the “I” of his personality type (see: Myers Briggs Personality Test), adding a little bit more introvertedness to his very extroverted personality. One of the ways he is doing this is spending time in solitude each day, doing nothing but sitting still. Now, that sounds absolutely miserable to me because I am the kind of person that usually needs constant stimulation. But, I do think there is value in recognizing the benefits of having alone time. Not only can alone time teach me things about myself, but it can also develop my personal creativity and bring a peace to my life that might not be there if I constantly surround myself with people 24/7 just for the heck of it.
Do not get me wrong, I LOVE spending time with people — my friends, my family, my co-workers, anyone. I actually said to Jake recently, “Why would I want to walk through life alone when I could be walking through it with other people?” But I think it is my desperate desire to constantly be in the presence of others that can send me into a deep pit of depression whenever I have moments alone. Instead of dreading those moments, I want to embrace them as opportunities to learn something new, develop my own creativity, and maybe even (gasp) sit in solitude.
And while I have had plenty of alone time here in the city so far, I have also had a lot of great experiences with great people! I’ve been able to get to know my co-workers, not only in the office but also during lunches and out in the city. I was able to spend time with one of my favorite chicas from my time in Ecuador, Shannon, while she was interning at NBC for the Olympics (no biggie). I’ve been able to hang out with some new-ish friends and had a great day with them at the beach. I got to show one of my best friends Zack my life here in NYC, which meant so much to me. And one of my oldest friends (I’m talking 13 years) Sarah just moved up here for job interviews, and (because I know she’ll land one soon) I’m so excited to have her up here with me.