I treasure my alone time. I would rather stay home writing or watching movies by myself more often than I feel like hanging out with my friends or going to party somewhere. As I’ve gotten older I find I’m less of a social person. I have a few close friends, but I avoid large gatherings of people most of the time. I spend all week around people, so on the weekend I usually like my social interactions brief. I go out by myself and have no problem being out and alone. But some people associate being alone with being some kind of loser, when it’s more like I feel I’m my own best company.
Unfortunately a woman out alone is more open to harassment. Men think it’s totally OK to blatantly come on to me in the most pathetic ways possible. Well, of course they do, they’re dripping in privilege. When I rebuff their advances, sometimes I get blowback such as “Fuck you, fat bitch”, which is always pleasant to hear. As a black woman, I find black men are the most likely to act that way towards me, as if they think because we’re of the same race I’m somehow obligated to accept their advances, no matter how insulting or unwelcome they are. I feel like white men are maybe more wary of me and probably less likely to be interested in me in the first place. Not that I’m sweating it.
Women who spend a lot of time alone are often portrayed as being unable to find companionship, usually in the form of a man. I love Sex and the City, but sometimes it would veer in to dangerous territory, like with Charlotte’s relentless pursuit of the perfect man for her, and Carrie’s constant serial monogamy (or lack of). Not to go off into a rant about SATC, but the companionship provided to the ladies by each other is definitely refreshing, although I wouldn’t personally spend so much time with other people. (Incidentally, the only character I find to be a role model in regards to sexual/emotional relationships is Samantha, which is actually something I plan on writing about very soon.)
Personally, I think we need to spend more time alone getting to know ourselves. Sometimes going going going means we’re not comfortable with our being. If you can’t be alone with yourself without feeling like something’s missing, maybe you need to learn to love yourself a bit more. I’ve found that since I began carving out serious alone time I’ve become more confident in myself as a person and as a writer. It gives me permission to “control my destiny” at least for the 12 hours I’m awake and alone. That’s quality time spent.