Tea For One
New York City is home to over 8.5 million of the world’s most interesting people, and if I’ve learned anything during my first 10 months of living here, it is this – I really fucking love being alone.
Maybe it’s a side effect of being constantly surrounded by hundreds of people, or maybe it’s just a quirk I have acquired as I’ve grown up, but whatever it is, I’ve stopped trying to fight it.
To me, “being alone” means different things on different days. Sometimes I find it in a good book at the end of a long day. Between the months of December and January, I found myself embracing aloneness while binging the entire Shameless series in a mere 28 days. Yesterday I found it in my bed, in the dark, listening to the buzz of my AC, basking in gratitude that it wasn’t the buzz of the subway. I think it all boils down more to a feeling than an actual state of being. I find myself searching for that feeling a lot, and seeking new ways to recreate it. I think if I could make that feeling something tangible, I would bottle it up and sell it. I would become a billionaire. Bath and Body Works has gotten close with their range of fall-scented 3-wick candles… but it’s not quite there yet.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that I’m turning into some kind of anti-social, always by herself, “please do me a favor and don’t talk to me” troll. Basically what I mean is that I’m coming to terms with the fact that, in order for me to function properly, I require a lot of alone time. I’m also starting to realize that maybe there’s nothing wrong with actively loving time to yourself. **(By no means am I referring to this aloneness that I’m enjoying as my current state of still being very VERY single…because boyfriends definitely welcome, just saying)**
The funniest part about all of this is, while I do consider myself to be a generally personable and outgoing gal, I think that the desire to be alone has always been a prominent part of my personality. I mean, I’m a writer, for God’s sake. My hobby is literally an excuse for me to hang out in coffee shops by myself surrounded by people who also don’t want to be disturbed. In reality, it’s helpful for me to take time to reflect on my day, on my thoughts and feelings, and how it all makes me feel. I don’t always know what I need from myself in the moment. Sometimes it takes that time away from everyone for me to figure that out, and once I know what I need from myself to make every day as good as it can be, I am able to go in to the day to follow as the best version of myself. This is something I am just now starting to really act on. We all need alone time here and there, some of us just require more than others.
My friends and family often make fun of me because I’ve become infamous for constantly leaving partially (okay… entirely) full cups of tea or coffee lying around. I never really knew why I did this, but I think there may be some subconscious correlation for me between the act of making these drinks, and the serene feeling I get from spending time alone. Once I took some time to reflect on this idea further, I realized that I think it stems back to my mom (SHOCKER, LEXIE MENTIONS HER MOM IN ANOTHER ONE OF HER BLOGS… I won’t apologize… love her - IT’S FINE, OKAY.)
For a long as I can remember, my mom has spent her mornings alone in her garden with a cup of coffee. She wakes up, heads downstairs, and basically makes a B-line towards the coffee pot. She’d fill it up with icy cold water and 7 scoops of Maxwell House coffee grounds, and she’d do a little bit of tiding about while it brewed. Once it was done, she would fill up her cup, adding just a little bit of sugar and half and half, and then head outside to enjoy nature, the beauty of the morning, and her cup-o-joe –all by herself.
I remember as I grew up, sometime when I would wake up early enough (which wasn’t very often) I would go downstairs, get a cup of coffee for myself, go back to my room and look out of my bedroom window, which overlooked the garden, and watch her for a little. I thought how nice it was that we both got to enjoy this alone time… together.
Since then, when I need some time alone, I find myself heading into the kitchen and reaching for the coffee pot or the teakettle.
… I made tea before I wrote this, and haven’t even touched it.
I think it’s just the principle, or maybe it’s just me, once again, thinking into something far deeper than I ever needed to, but I love thinking about the reasons behind habits, and how you can quickly turn something into a ritual without even meaning to do so.
So what do you think? Are you like me, someone who likes time to yourself? Or do you think that maybe for you, the opposite holds true, and you actively seek out a lot of time to be with others? Neither is right or wrong… most importantly, I need to emphasize again that neither is wrong.
I hope you all enjoy reading this blog in none other than the good company of yourself.