I’ve been out of school for six months now. I’ve learned a lot in the past months but I wanted to share something I think is important for anyone no matter what age or stage in their life: Take time for yourself. That is what I have been doing for the past six months. I rarely have seen friends and if I do it’s only for a short time. It’s not that I don’t want to see them, but I am teaching myself to be ok with being alone, especially alone with myself. I used to hate being alone. Especially alone in my apartment, there was something scary about being alone with myself that made me anxious and upset. I would cry when my fiancé would have to go to work or when visitors would leave after a weekend. I would constantly search for someone to hang out with, to do something with, anything so I wouldn’t have to be alone.
I was dependent on human interaction to feel safe and happy. But I didn’t want to be that way forever, I wanted to be ok alone, but it was something I would have to work on. After three years of nonstop school filled with tons of homework and projects, I was suddenly left bored and not busy. I loved to be busy, because then I wouldn’t have to be in my brain, I wouldn’t have to think about things I didn’t want to, I had other more important things to focus on. But finding a job after graduation is tough and it doesn’t happen right away, friends get busy with their own lives trying to figure out what they’re going to do next, and sadly I cannot keep my fiancé home from work just to keep my company. So, I was forced to teach myself that it’s ok to be alone, with myself.
I had to learn that inside my apartment and inside my body that I inhabit is a safe place. There is no need to worry, to be anxious, or to be scared. I found it was ok to be home alone, to do nothing or to do something, whether that be laying in bed with my dog and watching Netflix or going to the bookstore at the mall. Something important to the process was that I had to be happy and comfortable in my space. I decorated my space to be more peaceful and relaxing, so I was more calm in my own environment. I filled it with things I loved: art, books, crystals, and pillows. Having a happy and comforting space is key in the process. You won’t enjoy your alone time if you don’t love the space you’re spending it in.
Most importantly, I don’t think I would have gotten through the past six months without my therapy animals, Lola and Pablo, without them I would be very alone, so I am thankful for their company. Over the past six months, I have learned to love myself and put myself first. I don’t pressure myself to hang out with friends if I’m not up to it, and I’m ok with being inside my head and feeling what I feel. I have found I am much happier and find joy in a quiet apartment. I have also found that time spent with friends and family is more magical and meaningful. I feel as if I have found my place in my own world that I had created for everyone else but myself, I finally let myself in.