Learning to Love Your Own Company

I’ve spent most of my adulthood feeling less than ok with myself, so at all times I’ve tried to surround myself with as many people as I possibly could to get through. But I also suffer from pretty bad burn outs, especially because I never give myself a break. I run at full speed, flitting in between people and I’ve never been a person who genuinely enjoys my own company.

But recently, I’ve tried to break this cycle, mainly because I’d learnt to associate being on my own with really bad connotations. I think I’d built the idea of doing this alone as being anxiety inducing nightmares that really made me wonder whether I would be able to go into the world and explore on my own.

For the first time, I went on walks on my own, with no phone calls, just walking. In the mornings, whilst most students nursed hangovers, I joined the dog walkers, pram strollers and the joggers on their everyday morning rise. Maybe I wasn’t super confident at first, and definitely not fit enough to handle walking around Stirling town with its ridiculously steep hills, but I was doing it.

And the more I did it, the more relaxing it became. Maybe it was to do with the weather becoming sunnier, and that seasonal depression wearing away, but in all honesty, for the first time in my life I was really enjoying walking. It didn’t feel like a chore anymore, and morning walks in the quiet and hubbub of people who also looked like they had themselves together, it felt like a part of a club I’d never been a part of before.

And this isn’t even mentioning seeing sunsets, discovering parts of your town you’d never even seen before, taking the time to appreciate the ginnels, find your way around walking routes. In a week I’d discovered so much more that I’d never even known.

But also, when I was alone, I’d be quick to watch a video to fill in the noise. I’d watch videos when I brushed my teeth, whenever I cooked or had a moment where I was alone. I had really been neglecting a true love of listening to music, or crime podcasts. I still very much have a YouTube addiction, but I can get through a shower without watching a video now.

What I am saying is that you can break the cycle you’ve found yourself in. But I even think this could work for a phone addiction, or any unhealthy relationship where you are scared of being alone. I spent so many of my years fearing the one thing that you should learn to love first, yourself.

I spent all of those years not doing anything properly on my own, not seeing cities or walking because it scared me. I’d put off everything, whether that be walking, going to the shops, just because I couldn’t find anyone to go with me.

But its never too late to learn to love your own company, because without it you are always limited to other people. I’ve learnt so much about myself and what I like to do, only in such a short space of time. It’s been a roller coaster – and like always there are bad days where I really don’t want to be alone. But now, I am proud to say that I enjoy my own thoughts, and it’s given me so much time to understand and grow.

Published by Heather Dalgleish

21-year-old journalism student. Author and illustrator for In Full Bloom Magazine

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