Of Alone Time & Space

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

Some days I wonder if I should start these blogs with a ‘Dear Diary’, because that’s literally what they are. Ramblings from my mind spat out on a keyboard, with absolutely no regard to whether they’re reading worthy or not.

But then, that’s what I love about this.

I once had someone ask me if I put aside some time in my day for myself. And I said, of course, I read, I write, I often watch shows and films by myself. Alone time is important to me. And she smiled and shook her head. I mean, by yourself. Just you, and your thoughts. Doing nothing else.

Well, won’t that be weird? I thought. How can you just sit, and do nothing?

But somehow, that’s the one thing I keep coming back to in this lockdown. As I type this, most of the world is up and about. In fact, most of this country is up and about (I really wish they weren’t, given the state of things). But nowadays, I find myself gravitating towards this alone time more than ever. Just me, with my thoughts. I long silence. I try to catch moments when the television set will finally be switched off (trust me, in our house, that isn’t very often), when there is no song or video playing in the background, when nobody is talking. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I find myself sinking peacefully, my thoughts surprisingly presenting themselves in a well organised manner, politely, with permission. And it’s becoming a part of the day that I look forward to, even though I don’t know when it’ll happen.

Yesterday, I decided to make it happen. Instead of our usual coffee date, I made coffee for myself, and sat on the sofa, no cellphone, no laptop, nothing else within reach. It started to rain, and I spent the next fifteen minutes looking out at our non-existent balcony. I saw the building in front of me, with multiple people looking out of their non-existent balconies in a scene almost reminiscent of a Pascal Campione art piece. I saw the boy who sits at his balcony every day, legs dangling, playing with his football. I looked at the housewife chatting away on her cellphone, her baby hanging from her hips. I saw the house where the television set is always on, 24×7, and I wondered if they do that to numb their thoughts from presenting themselves, of ensuring there’s no alone time, no space to drown within themselves.

And I realised just how often we avoid ourselves.

Since I was a child I was taught to fill up my time with things. If you’re free, pick up a hobby. Help around the house. Go out and play. How come nobody ever teaches kids to sit down and just be with themselves? Mind you, I’m not talking about meditation here, I’m talking about quite the opposite of emptying your mind.

And as adults, it’s just so much easier to fill up your time with things, because there’s just so little time, and so many things. We spend more than half of our lives at work. And what little is left, is spent catching up on everything we’re missing out on – friends, reading, sleep.

But we need this time.

So take that cup of coffee / chai, and move to a comfortable corner of your house, and sit, and just be. Feel the restlessness, feel every moment of your brain rebelling against this freedom to bombard you with thoughts, fight the numbness, and just be.

Because this is who you really are.

And it’s scary.

And lonely.

And beautiful.

Just be.

P.S. One of the weird thoughts plaguing me yesterday was if Nolan thinks in different time & space dimensions when he takes some me-time. It seems plausible, no? Okay, sorry, bye.

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