I absolutely love this photo challenge from Ann-Christine, and I admire her beautiful post giving us a glimpse into the outer world she’s created to express and host her inner world.
I deeply resonate with the story of finding the significance of Alone Time. When I was young, I didn’t much value alone time – it reminds me now of how being sent to spend time alone in my room was used as a punishment, and felt as such. As one of five siblings, I didn’t get my own room until I was 14. By then, I was ready to appreciate it. I went from a college dormitory straight into my honeymoon apartment, and had four children in the next seven years. As the mother of a large family, alone time became HIGHLY valued, and I found it in solitary walks into the green spaces around our suburban home. I found myself craving time to write alone as well. As my children were leaving the nest, my husband died. Suddenly, I had more alone time than I knew what to do with and the pain that came with it felt very much like punishment again.
“On my own, pretending he’s beside me, All alone, I walk with him ’til morning…” – from the musical Les Miserables
Two and a half years ago, I moved into a studio apartment and began to live entirely alone for the very first time – during a pandemic, which of course added to the isolation. I am emerging from the narrative that frames alone time as a negative consequence and beginning to really cherish the autonomy, the quiet, the slow pace, and the creative freedom that comes with having my own space and my own time. Here in my studio, I explore creative self-compassion with intention in a way I never had the opportunity to do before. I practice music, memorize lines, write, process photos, listen to music, dance, do yoga, meditate, dream, feed myself, read, and learn, alone in this very private 700 square feet of space. Somehow, while photographing it this morning, I chose monochrome. I like the clarity and simplicity it evokes. I like how ‘mono’ means alone. There is a quiet joy here, even if there’s a somberness to it.
I hope, Friends, that this challenge inspires you to invest in your inner life and in the most important relationship you will ever have: the one with your precious and unique Self.
I can feel quite a bit of this, alone for most of the time for the very first time in my life, having done the same–marrying young, having four children very close together, and losing my husband far too young and watched my children become young adults and move away. I love both the color and the monochrome, the great outdoors and the quiet black & white in your own space (the highlighting is a nice touch, too). I hope one day to become more comfortable sitting with myself.
I do wish that for you, too, Stephanie. You are a tapestry, all on your own, rich with the texture of all who have touched you. ❤
Nicely done Priscilla – you’ve captured the many emotions of being alone – from a strong desire for me, to wishing it weren’t so, to appreciating it’s pleasures. Your personal evolution has been so amazing. It seems you’ve truly found your way through the sadness to a new life. Beautifully illustrated and described – thank you for sharing your personal journey
Thank you, Tina. Here’s to new life!
Sorry – fat fingers. a strong desire for IT, not for ME.
What a wonderful post, Priscilla. I identified with so much of what you wrote – I am in a transition and all transitions along our life story involves a tension between knowing how to be alone and knowing how to live with others.
Thanks, Pat. Yep, that’s the growing edge! 🙂
Priscilla, this is the most powerful post. Thank you for sharing your story. Others will learn from the energy you place in your words. When I was searching through “Alone Time” posts and came across your feature photo, I smiled. That photo alone says(to me)..here I am amidst all the busyness and and I am beautiful. (thats you) Well done! All the photos speak so much wisdom from the journey you have been through. I have a few favorite photos, and today, I choose to let the words resonate with me.
Thank you so much, Donna. I feel seen! 🙂
Your mono gallery of images did have that quiet feel (even tho I see mono as meaning one and not necessarily alone)
And the feet in the water was my fav today – felt like contentment
Thank you for your thoughtful feedback! 🙂
I loved lock down with the peace it brought and relief from traffic and planes overhead. So lovely to be replaced by birdsong. I was so lucky being able to walk to the beach.
That does sound peaceful!
Love the low viewpoint.
The floor makes a nice neutral backdrop. 😉