Saturday, December 8, 2012

the beauty of alone

So all of my pics from the last three days look about like this one: part of my face, badly focused. It's hard to take pics of yourself with a phone, even with the camera turned around.

See, I grew up an only child, but I never really liked being alone. Didn't like staying home alone, didn't like eating meals alone, definitely hated sleeping alone. But now, as an adult, I cherish my alone time, especially when traveling.

Maybe it has something to do with not having siblings, but I like not having to ask someone else's opinion. Say, for example, I found myself at Walt Disney World with a Park Hopper pass and a magic Fast Pass and an open schedule. I might have an omelet in the restaurant at 8:30, be at Animal Kingdom when it opens at 9am, ride four rides, skip over to a press event at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, get dropped off at Magic Kingdom, ride all the roller coasters, then zip over to Epcot to hang with a friend and attend a giant party. You can't do that with a caucus. And you can't do it with your kids in tow, either.

I have these little moments, when I'm alone. Because I'm alone. Like the other night, when I was engulfed by a crowd in the Epcot exit area and ended up in the middle of a high school chorus singing Gloria in Excelsis Deo as they walked to the parking lot under the stars. It was magical and beautiful, and I was totally lost and nearly ended up on a bus back to Indiana with the cast of Glee 2. But it wouldn't have happened if I'd been in a group.

Sometimes, I feel like I don't create as many memories as I used to, like time is moving too fast. Then I get away, alone, and realize that it's easier to make memories when you're focused on yourself and the moment. Taking care of children, especially, seems to break up my consciousness such that I barely remember anything. Having some mental space is so refreshing. I need to feel things.

I'm sick and on Nyquil and rambling, but I guess what I'm saying is this: if you have small children, please consider it a mental health imperative to get away from them and have adventures of your own. Move bravely through the world, considering no one's interests but yours. Follow your mind, your heart, your nose, your curiosity. As important as family and parenthood are, there's still a value to personhood and experiencing new things.

So... go have an adventure or something.

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ChaosMandy said...

I'm really looking forward to going with Disney with my family next year, but I'm super excited about going to the Halloween party all by myself!

I'm also planning a solo weekend trip in 2014 so I can run in one of the Disney races :)

Virginia Valerie said...