It’s Okay To Be Alone

It’s the time of year when people  tend to get together with loved ones, whether family/friends/significant others, and celebrate the the season. I scrolled through my Facebook feed and considered all the holiday pictures with smiling friends, families, and couples enjoying the season.

Then I started thinking of all the people NOT posting pictures of holiday revelry. (Not that you need to put everything you do on social media) Maybe there are folks out there who don’t have family, friends, or a significant other, etc. in their city. Maybe they can’t travel home for the holidays. Maybe they just don’t have anyone who is close to them.

For them I just want to say: It’s Okay To Be Alone

Don’t get caught up in the fact that you might be alone for the holidays, or NYE. There is nothing wrong with being alone.

Story Time: A few years ago on New Year’s Eve I’m being pulled in a bunch of different directions. The girl I recently started dating wants me to go to a bar in the West Village, one group of friends was hanging out in one part of Brooklyn, and another group of friends was hanging out in a completely different part of Brooklyn. What I decided to do was spend New Year’s Eve alone. This was the first (and only) I didn’t spend a New Year’s Eve with family, friends, or a girlfriend. It was one of my absolute favorite New Year’s Eves. I spent the night reflecting on the year and what I wanted out of the next year.

You might not have the luxury of having to turn down people who want to see you but that’s fine. If you’re alone this holiday season, why not use the time to do the things you want to do. If you think of being alone as inherently negative, then your experience being alone will be a negative one.

I’m a big believer in the idea that no matter what Negative Thinking can be changed (h/t Emily Roberts)

There is nothing wrong with being alone. You’re an awesome person. I’m sure people want to be around you, so why wouldn’t you want to be around you?

With friends/family/etc. comes social obligations. You HAVE to do something if you’re invited somewhere. Whether it’s accepting an invitation and attending or declining, you still have to react and do SOMETHING. If you’re alone you can do pretty much anything you want.

Do that if you’re alone for the holidays. Do what you’ve always wanted to do.

Go out or stay in. Stay in and contemplate or hit the town and chat up some strangers. Make new friends, connect with new people, or just enjoy the awesome person that is you. Drink hot chocolate and take holiday pictures or stay in and catch up on that show or book you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

Being alone or away from the ones you love doesn’t have to be the most depressing thing in the world. It can be whatever you make it.

I say this as someone who is happy with who I am spending my holiday with, but also as someone who has lost a lot of amazing people in my life that I wish were around. I’m lucky to have family and friends where I live, but sometimes you do miss the people who have passed on, or the people you’ve lost touch with. Sometimes, you can feel alone in a room full of people. I’ve been there and it gets especially tough for me during the holidays and I have the luxury of having one of my siblings and one of my nieces in the city, a huge group of friends AND a loving and supportive girlfriend. I can only imagine how tough this time of year would be for me without all that support.

The holiday season, when you remove from it religion, culture, ceremony, and commercialism, is just the end of the year.

It’s a point where, no matter how alone you feel, you can look back and say “This year is almost over”.

If you’re alone because people are out of town, and you’d rather be with them  remember that they will be back in the new year.

If you’re alone because you’ve lost people or never had people then it’s time to find new people. Life doesn’t stop when you lose someone. It doesn’t matter if they walked out by choice or not. You should live for you and cherish who you have. If you don’t have anyone to cherish, find people you can.

That is why, It’s Okay To Be Alone. It’s an opportunity to reflect (or not) and reevaluate what you want (and potentially who you want) in your life.

Happy Holidays and as always, Good Luck Out There

p.s. While the idea that Suicides rise during the Holidays has been proven to be a myth, it’s still a trying time. If you need it, here’s a list of suicide crisis lines (it’s international for all you International readers)

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