Solitude is the state or situation of being alone. Alone is the state of isolation. Unfortunately, we live in an age where entertainment is often at the forefront of everyone's daily agenda. Most people confuse alone with being lonely, when there is a massive difference between the two.
In my high school, college, and late twenties, I needed to be around a lot of people. I absolutely despised being by myself. For one, I had no idea what I would do by myself for an entire day. Going to the movies or out to eat alone was out of the question, and sitting home watching television was like watching paint dry.
But boy oh boy things dramatically changed when I got a little growth, maturity and self-awareness under my belt. I was living in Atlanta, the most entertaining city in the South. I didn't have any friends or family to call on, it was just me and this big ole' city to explore. These were the days before iPhone maps. It was just me, a printed copy of directions from MapQuest, and my white drop-top Mustang. I learned how to feel comfortable sitting at a table in a busy restaurant without feeling lonely. I learned how to enjoy being in the moment (by my damn self) without wondering if everyone was staring at me, wondering why I was all dressed up with no one to socialize with.
Alone time. I relish in it. Don't get me wrong, I love a night out with my man and girlfriends just like the next person. I enjoy being around people with great energy. But there's something magical about driving to the beach and watching the scenery in silence. There's something refreshing about slowly devouring a juicy T-Bone steak without having to talk in-between bites. There's something harmonious about sitting on my back porch, listening to the birds chirp and the wind whisper, while penning a blog or collection of thoughts.
Summer is rapidly approaching. While there may be a need to plan sunny get-a-ways with your friends and loved ones, I challenge you to carve out some alone time. A time when it's just you, your thoughts, and whatever space you choose to visit. You don't have to be a poet, writing some masterpiece. You don't have to be an artist, painting your ass off. All you have to do is be present in the moment you have created. I promise, there's nothing like it. It's almost like a reset button. If I'm stressed, or agitated, or angry, or sad...going to see a good chick flick (alone) in the middle of the day will put me right where I need to be.
Being alone doesn't mean you are lonely. Being alone is a place where grown folks frequent. It's a place where the purpose-filled souls live. It's a place where you can drown out the noise and focus on you. It's a place where God speaks, and it's a place where I can hear Him.