After watching a few old episodes of Sex and the City and combing through some of my favorite women’s magazines during some recent alone time, I found it interesting how much being alone — and a woman — is an issue in our culture.
The magazines are all about finding ways to avoid spending time by one’s self and in the show, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are constantly begrudging any solo time. Even in more recent shows like 30 Rock, Tina Fey‘s character, Liz Lemon, is the butt of lonely, single woman jokes on a weekly basis, while her boss, Jack, spends just as much time alone as a perpetual bachelor and the King of Cool — similar to the role of Mr. Big in Sex and the City.
In other words, things haven’t changed. I’m tired of this notion that women are supposed to always be in groups and pairs. We don’t all have to go to the restroom together! There’s nothing pathetic about being solo while shopping, eating in a restaurant, or at home. Twice in my life I’ve lived alone and honestly, it was nice. I could spend time with people when I wanted, but I could also enjoy having space and time to do whatever.
Now that I’m married, alone time isn’t as common. However, before Thanksgiving my husband went on a trip with his family for three weeks (I couldn’t get the time off from work). This time by myself in our Brooklyn apartment reminded me of living in my cute one bedroom on College Avenue in Berkeley and later, in a Brooklyn Heights studio while I was finishing graduate school.
In both instances I had time to focus on my studies and get some QT with myself. Reflecting back, I realize that there’s something special about spending solitary time and balancing your social life with your personal hobbies. I think it’s healthy and a good way to connect with your goals, interests and anything else that can be pushed aside when you are focusing on friends, family and relationships all the time.
Yes, while my husband was gone I felt lonely at times and had some trouble sleeping at first, but all in all, I found the experience refreshing. So, next time you are bemoaning some solo time — whether you have a roommate, boyfriend, girlfriend, or not — take advantage of the moment and do something for yourself. You’ll thank you.