As you’ll have guessed from the title, this post is going to talk about my recent trip to Lancaster. While it seemed like a pretty ordinary trip, taken many times in my commute to uni, it ended up having a really big impact on my perspective of quite a few things, the main thing is how I see being ‘alone’.
Now, I wasn’t originally going alone, as I was handing in my keys, the thought of filling in forms and reading meters freaked me out. But, after multiple clashes with work rotas, I eventually decided that putting it off was doing more harm than good, making me generally more anxious, so I went alone.
Nowadays, being alone anywhere that isn’t in your house, seems to be a pretty strange thing; with socialising being the expectation, being on your own is seen as a sort of ‘lack’. If you’re out on your own, you must be waiting for someone, if you’re single, you’re looking for Mr/Mrs Right, and this might not always be the case. Saying this, you might be expecting a bit of a ‘single life rules, relationships are awful’ kind of posts; as this isn’t one of those posts, you newly-made singletons may have to pause Destiny’s Child: Survivor track for now. This post and the next few to follow are, despite being focused on solitude, are for everyone; for people in relationships, be it happy or currently going through a rough patch, people who have either always been single or are single now for whatever reason. Everyone. Whatever romantic relationship status you’re at and however you’re feeling about it, this post is for you!
Don’t worry, even though I’m preaching a lil strength in solitude, I’m not calling for you to cut all ties, take a trip to the Scottish highlands with a tent and a harpoon and begin intense throat singing on the peninsula of a mountain to achieve complete oneness. I’m not. I mean, if you fancy that, then I guess it’s cool, but I’m kind of going for another angle of solitude. The very ordinary events of my trip to Lancaster have helped me realise that being alone isn’t being lonely, it’s not feeling isolated at all, but instead it’s feeling content when in your own company and the company of others.
After my recent break-up from a long-term relationship, despite the absolute plethora of emotions, doubts and problems that I faced, I think the scariest one was that all of a sudden I was alone. I had absolute bushels of time to myself, and it was terrifying and understandably so. After spending almost, if not every day, with someone else, their absence is bound to be noticed. To combat this fear, a technique I’ve been trying to use a lot recently, I decided to use this time to reacquaint with myself. I think that I’d ignored myself a little too much, a trait that can be found in all of us, more so when in a relationship, where trying to please your other half can sometimes takeover.
So, off I went. After a late night, I set out late, hungry and tired, a bad start to an amazing day. An hour later, I got to my accommodation, ready to get the forms filled in and say goodbye to a pretty rocky academic year for good.
After consulting google on what colour an electric meter box is and calling the accommodation to nervously interrogate them about every question on the forms, I was done. I walked into town and handed in my keys with a lot less stress than I had anticipated (thanks anxiety).
I left feeling pretty alright, and after my stomach rumbling for the 3rd time in ten minutes I knew that I needed something to eat before the drive back. On my way to the high street I stopped at That’s Entertainment for some CD’s, getting sick of the radio’s only offer of constant static or Despacito. While I was in the queue with my pretty mix-and-match pile of CDs, ranging from Nelly to the Les Miserables soundtrack, a guy stood near the ‘Artists beginning with W’ section knocked a load of CDs to the floor. Knowing how embarrassed he’d be feeling, I started to help out, hoping that having two people on the floor picking up CDs would sort of dilute the situation. While this seems a small gesture, it can be pretty challenging for everyone to risk drawing attention to yourself to help someone out and it’s a challenge that I try to take at any opportunity to help me be a better person and maybe start a cycle of helping, instead of judging, others.
The guy was really grateful and the general vibe in the shop seemed lifted. I left feeling pretty good about myself and with my bizarre CD collection weighing in my bag, the food quest began…
More to follow, stay positive,