I'm well into my late 20s and I'm about two years single now, the longest such streak of my adult life.
My only regret is not doing this earlier.
For most of my 20s, I was in a relationship or spending way too much time and energy with someone I wanted to date or sleep with. I had no idea who I was or what I was doing because I was always trying to please other people. I never thought about what I wanted, or how I felt.
Not only did I need to be absolutely single, I also needed to be completely separate from the trappings that most 20-somethings value: toxic social relationships, romantic relationships, sex, splurging, partying, debauchery, Snapchat and all that other pointless stuff. Mostly the relationship part, though.
When I moved to DC almost two years ago, I knew pretty much no one, aside from one friend who was busy attending med school. I was pretty much on my own.
I was in the middle of “trying a long distance relationship,” but who was I kidding. Her and I both knew it wasn't happening.
So for the first time, here I was completely single. In a new city. No girlfriend, no girl friends, no friends. Just me.
This newly found solitude put me in a strange place that I somehow found delightful. I could have easily escaped from it earlier, but I chose to embrace it.
For the first time my life was void of noise. I was not full of other people's thoughts, feelings and energy. Just my own energy, vibrations and ideas. Good and bad.
I began to notice four significant changes that can only happen to you once you've mastered the art of flying solo.
1. You accept the past.
At times, things got pretty depressing. Not because I was lonely. But when you come to this type of solitude, you spend a lot of time in pensive reflection.
First, you look back and you analyze your life and begin to wonder what could have been different.
Then, you spend a lot of time really thinking about what it is that YOU want. There is no other influence on these thoughts. Just yours. You now begin to become the person that YOU have always wanted to become.
2. You care less about the past.
After a while, you begin to look back less.
You begin to look forward.
So much so that you become less nostalgic. You start to reminisce less often.
Even when you do speak with friends or family members, reminiscing on the good old days becomes slightly repulsive to you. Your focus is the future.
3. No company. No problem.
You begin to actually prefer to do stuff alone rather than with company.
You're okay with traveling alone and doing other things on the solo tip. No more waiting on your friends or others in order to make a move.
You're also no longer worried about FOMO. You know if you weren't there, then you just weren't supposed to be.
It's not that you are becoming anti-social or a hermit. But you are becoming more in tune with yourself and the type of energy you want around you. You're not against having company, but there is no way you're going to be caught dead in the wrong company. In fact you start to automatically repel the wrong company.
Gone are the days where you'll let someone else's ideas, values, expectations or influences of any kind have any kind of affect on your decisions or day to day activities. You're yourself and as comfortable as ever now. This is a very important kind of freedom. It's one of the best feelings in the world.
Now that you've found your own tempo, you begin to put the right type of energy into the universe.
As always, that energy is reciprocated. You are now able to attract the people and things that are right for you, and reject what isn't.
At least this has been the case for me.
I only wish I found this type of solitude before a turned 26. The sooner the better, but better late than never.
At any rate, I'm at a point where I can only establish relationships and engage endeavors that are meaningful. This doesn't mean that everybody I encounter or associate with is a life friend or soul mate or that every single thing I undertake I'm completely and totally passionate about. It just means it all makes sense and there is a reason behind it.
The sooner you go through this period of solace, the better. We're young and FOMO has absolutely taken over our lives. Social media doesn't help either.
But the sooner you master being alone with yourself, the sooner you may really be able to feel and enjoy what's truly in store for you.
Pharrell Williams so melodically suggested on his song, “Freq” that “you've got to go inward to experience the outer space that was built for you.” I get it, Skateboard P. I get it.