Several weeks ago, I blogged about a weekend I spent mostly solo. I honored the power it had at the time, but I could have never imagined the impact it would have from that point on. But last weekend while talking with a friend, I heard words spill out of my mouth that only a few months ago I would have never expected to hear. “I really enjoy my own company.” It completely took me by surprise, but the truth had been brewing for a while.
Over the past three and a half years, I found myself living in some really interesting places (Utah and Vermont). The downside to choosing to move to places where I knew few, if any, people was that I often found myself alone and it was rarely by choice. I couldn’t call someone at a moment’s notice and see if they wanted to grab a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, a few ski runs, a movie, or dinner. Sometimes, but not always. Instead of being comforted by my own company I was often annoyed. I'd think, You again?
It was largely for this reason that I chose to move to Chicago earlier this year. Although my job allows me to live pretty much anywhere with cell phone reception and an Internet connection (which, these days, is pretty much anywhere) I chose to move where my friends were. At the time, I barely considered all of the great things I’d get to enjoy by living in Chicago. I would have moved to the North Pole if that were where my friends were. (Visit in January and you may think that’s exactly what I did.)
Without an ounce of hesitation, I can say that I made the best move of my life. I know that I can pick up the phone or shuttle off an e-mail and within moments have plans to eat sushi or go for a walk or even take a yoga class with some of my favorite people on the planet. But what has surprised me most is that sometimes I decide not to. Sometimes, all I want to do is cook a nice meal, snuggle into my couch, and read a book or watch a DVD. Alone. Although the order of events would have been identical in any of those other places, I actually enjoy it now. Because if I don't want to do it, I don't have to do it. Because it’s a choice. Because I have options.
Now it’s, You again!
I write a lot here about finding balance on my plate and in my body. But the reality is that there’s balance to be found in every corner of my life. Even my social one.