How to be alone

Feel an emptiness churning inside you and make a vow to not let it get the better of you. Clear your schedule for a few days. Take some time to catch up with yourself.

Pick up a book and fall into the world within the pages. Lie in the sun with a cold drink and get comfortable. There are universes at your fingertips. Live a thousand different lives and go a thousand different places. Let these worlds inspire you to create things for yourself. Discover art. Find a place for yourself within it.

Go into the city. Lose yourself amongst the crowds, under the shade of those massive buildings. Spend a little too much on coffee, flirt with the barista. Give a few dollars to a busker and let their acoustics be the soundtrack to your day. Soak up the anonymity of it all. Revel in the thousands of faces you’ll see across the space of a single day. There’s a story behind all of them.

Cherish your friendships. Tend to them and watch them grow and know that they will be the ones who are going to be there for you from now until the end. Drink your way to the bottom of a bottle of wine then go out and take the city lights into yourself. Get sweaty and dance. Throw down cheap shots and pray nobody’s around to catch a photo of your face screwed up in agony. Forget about the world outside those walls. Kiss a stranger. Do a little more if that’s what the evening calls for.


Wake up with a raging hangover and lie around eating left-over pad thai and watching How I Met Your Mother reruns. Do this until your hangover lifts and then take a moment to appreciate your good health. Make a promise with yourself stop it with rampant alcohol consumption but then break it a few days later.

Make mistakes. Make enormous ones. Feel the ground shake beneath you. Feel the very foundations of your life crumble, then drop away. Fall to depths you never imagined. Feel regret begin to creep into you but then remember that this is life and things are happening because they are supposed to. Emerge from the wreckage a changed person in the best possible way. This is growing up.

Think deeply about everything that has happened so far. Go on long drives without any real destination in mind and let the open road be a sketchbook where you can scribble your thoughts down. Chase the horizon. Let your dreams, desires and goals take shape in front of you and go after them with everything you’ve got. Remember that you, like everyone else, are on a journey. It won’t always be smooth but that’s half the fun.

Take yourself to the nearest beach. Walk along the shore. Be gone for hours. Soak up the sunshine and listen to a dozen Ben Howard songs. Turn around and see the footprints you’ve left behind, then watch them get washed away by that insistent ocean. Let the salty breeze breath a new life into you. Know that starting over is always possible.

Own yourself. Be yourself and love yourself. That’s how to be alone.

Words by HARRISON CARTWRIGHT, a student, writer and chronic over-thinker. Don’t forget to check BULLSH!T out on Facebook and Twitter


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