Over this break I have become semi-adept at hanging out with myself.
Yes, I do realize how lame that sounds.
It was really weird at first - traveling back up the mountain after Christmas to a quiet little town that looked like Boone but didn’t feel like it. Going to work, coming home....At first I was going to sleep with the TV on in the living room + a light on in the kitchen + How I Met Your Mother reruns playing by my bedside every night. I wanted to run outside and hug my neighbor right around the neck when he came back a few days later (I didn’t) - just because it feels better being able to attribute strange noises in the apartment to the neighbor (we’re just gettin’ by here, folks).
I wasn’t comfortable with the silence. I wasn’t comfortable with Boone silence. I wasn’t comfortable with having no plans for a while and apparently I needed a lot of help from Lilly, Marshall & Ted to fall asleep at night.
Oh but how I needed to be confronted with that silence. With that alone-ness. NOT loneliness, but aloneness. Because loneliness means feeling sad or embarrassed about the absence of companionship. But aloneness just means having no one else there - being “on your own.” And that doesn’t shouldn’t have any bad connotations.
Just for a second, let me ask a question. What happens when we don’t fully experience aloneness - when we don’t seek it out or even accept it?
We become so wrapped up in collecting friends that we forget about friendship. We use people to “hang out with” just so that we can keep ourselves from the “lameness” of sitting alone. We spend time with people we don’t even like just so that we can say we have plans. We can’t sit still while waiting for a doctor’s appointment without scrolling through our Instagram or Facebook, connecting ourselves with somebody else’s life so we don’t have to be alone or make eye contact with someone we don’t know who sees us sitting alone. Maybe, just maybe, we even go places and do things and hang out with certain people just so that we can take a picture to post to show everyone that we have friends. we go cool places. we do awesome stuff.
Oh wait. That’s already happening.
I don’t want this to turn into a rant, so I have to be careful here. I’m guilty of...let me see...all of the above. Yep. Check. Done.
And. I. Am. Over. It.
Because instead of running from the idea of being alone, even just for a second, I want to stop searching and believe that I am enough.
I am enough. I am enough without a constant stream of adventurous plans and super trendy friends readily available to hang out with me whenever I call. I am enough without a thousand texts from a thousand people every minute of every day. I am enough without tons of pictures on the internet of all the cool things I do.
Because at the end of the day, when I lay my head down on the pillow and have a moment to think, I have to be enough. To keep moving and breathing and feeling and living, I have to be enough. And He says I am.
So the next step is believing that I am.