Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How To Be Alone

Here is one of my favorite things on the Internet

HOW TO BE ALONE by Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you've not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren't okay with it, then just wait. You'll find it's fine to be alone once you're embracing it.

We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You're not supposed to talk much anyway so it's safe there.

There's also the gym. If you're shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in (guitar stroke).

And there's public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there's prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you're hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously (electric guitar plucking) based on your avoid being alone principals.

The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they -- like you -- will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You're no less intriguing a person when you're eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor till the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one's watching...because, they're probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you're sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life's best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there're always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might've never happened had you not been there by yourself

Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.

You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one's in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept.

Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school's groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you're happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.

It's okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can't think like you, for this be releived, keeps things interesting lifes magic things in reach.

And it doesn't mean you're not connected, that communitie's not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn't get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don't obsess about it.

you could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it
If your heart is bleeding make the best of it
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

So where does that take you?  What does that make you feel? Share your thoughts in the comments.


  1. I honestly found a lot of the speech slightly unclear, but I think that might just of been me, but reading it in text has helped a lot.

  2. The poem itself is very powerful, but I didn't enjoy it because I have a different point of view. I think it's the opposite, it's great to be near other people, to laugh, to cry, and just to be happy.

  3. I think it is important to learn how to be alone sometimes, how to lose that need for company and acceptance, and just have some time for yourself. We often get distracted and lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle of a busy life, and caught up in the lives of other people. The animation in this video is beautiful.

  4. "Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it." I definitely agree with this part of the poem, we are definitely afraid of being alone. I don't know how it feels to be lonely however, due to the fact that we are always connected in some way or the other, whether it be text message or the internet, this feeling of being alone doesn't apply anymore, and for me trying to be alone is hard.

  5. That was some awesome poetry. I like how the poem rhymed at certain parts to put emphasis on big ideas in the poem. It was a really meaningful poem and the thought was conveyed extremely well. I loved many of the lines and it is such a clever poem. Sometimes, it's best to be alone and just find yourself, and through your loneliness you'll meet others. The animations fitted well with the whole video idea, in fact they helped to convey the message better in some ways. Really lovely poetry with an extremely powerful message.

  6. Wow, I never really thought of being alone from this perspective. It truly does make being alone sound good. This poem teaches us how to find the positive points in everything, and that there always is some good in every bad. We must learn to sometimes spend time with ourselves, and just be who we really are!

  7. I feel that sometimes when you are too alone, you can go into depression. If you are alone because you have no friends, then that is a different thing. But f you are alone because you want to get to know your self much better, then go for it! I think sometimes being alone can be great You can do whatever you want to do, roam an unknown city, and remember if you have no on to talk to you can always talk to the statues. Sometimes when you are alone, you seem to be more organized, and more self-sufficent that way. So sometimes how many ever friends you have, you just need some "alone time".

    I am someone who loves poetry- I have written poems from when I was four, and I think that this is a very intriguing poem. Even though there is no definite rhythm sequence there is some sort of bounce to it You can feel the energy. This is a great way to convey a powerful message. Be alone...It's good for you. You know more about yourself this way....Likes and dislikes, hobbies, and whatever it maybe.

  8. The poem was well written, and manages to captivate the listener.
    Personally, I think, It's good to have balance and diversity in one's life - Sometimes you really need to reflect alone, and other situations are improved greatly by the presence of other people.

  9. I thought that the author really meant the words she was saying. She helps us guide through our lonely times to create into better memories than we would have ever thought of.

  10. This was one of the most inspirational videos I have ever seen. The way she told the poem was just the right way to say it and the background music had a certain feeling to it to make the video even better. There are some lines in this poem that I can relate to.

  11. I found the poem very well written. It is hopeful, and tells you to be yourself, to not care about what other people think about you. It tells you that it's a good thing to be alone. I liked the poem a lot. I thought that in the video it's difficult to make out the words, but when I read it, I understood it better. I really liked the animation in the video.

  12. When I was your age, being alone was the worst thing one could be. Being lonely felt like a heavy weight and a curse. After all, who wanted to be the weirdo, shunned and ignored. There is little I wanted more than to be accepted. Included. Loved and popular. I saw them smiling and together, while I swam in my head, obviously cut from a different cloth.

    But as I get older the more I am starting to learn that, they too were lonely. Stuck in their mind acting like people they felt they needed to be in order to fit in. I love this video, because it reminds me to value myself and take comfort in the time I spend inside myself. It can be a fruitful place if we don't run from it.

    "If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, it's fitting in."

    I read that the other day and it has stuck with me, somehow feels connected to this conversation and this poem and the video. I wish that someone had told me when I was in middle school that fitting in was different from belonging. I wish someone had helped me learn to be alone, so I could find my community.

    I teach you guys all the things I wish I had been taught at your age. It will come to you in time with life experience, but a small reminder can't. I hope this video and this poem helps at least a few you. I see you and all your quirkiness. I hope you can learn to celebrated it early and with passion. I am here to help. We all are. Good luck.

    1. I super love this piece. So well written and true. This resonated with me the most...
      "Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it."

      It's funny. A lot of my best friends are loners and I think attracting people who have the DNA to be alone taught me how to be alone and love it. :) It took awhile and I resisted it for a long time, searching for a way to belong in all the wrong places. And yup, you are right, it was only when I valued time with myself, demons and all, that I learned to be just me.

      I've said this before and I will say it again, we are kindred spirits. There are so many things I wish someone told me when I was 13 too. I would have handled things differently, liked myself sooner, cared less about what people thought. I think timing is everything and meeting someone cut from the same cloth at the wrong time would just not be/feel right. So hello, am glad we met right now, now that we are older; glad we work together and well, are from the same tribe. I am a lucky duck to be surrounded by vulnerable people.

  13. I felt that the author of this poem really believed in what she said, how being alone isn't bad and whats important is if you enjoy it or not, because if she didn't she wouldn't have been able make such a great poem.

  14. I thought that it was very fast and hard to understand what she was saying. The video was amazing, I liked how she made the music herself. I agree with heropinion because about being alone, I think once in a while it is good to be alone, to get away from all the drama and craziness.

  15. I feel that this poem and performance is very inspiring to me, and especially to those who think being alone leads endless loneliness, because they forget they have themselves to keep them company. Another thing that I felt was quite inspiring was that she encouraged people to cherish being alone. This is evident in the line "some people at full tables will wish they were where you were".

    This poem leads me to think, is being alone more meaningful than being with others? Can you learn more from yourself than from others? The answers to these questions are infinite, but I believe that as long as you are comfortable and happy where you are, you will find the path to eternal joy and satisfaction with yourself.

  16. I believe that being truly alone would be quite hard to achieve. Since we are always trying not to be alone, but with others; I think that being truly alone has almost been a forgotten meaning with the internet and stuff. Overall, this was a great poem.

  17. The message that this author has conveyed is a concept which is abstract and sometimes hard to grasp at first. This is because society is cruel. If you spend lots of time alone, people might term you "antisocial". Withdrawn. This is not the situation for most people who spend lots of time alone though. In most cases, it's because people are scared to be judged. Scared to be shed a light upon in society. Most of all though, it's because these people have already understood the concept that to be content, it is not imperative that you need the presence of another human being.

  18. I think its important to be alone sometime so you can reflect on things you have done or work you need to do but sometimes being with people can raise you self asteam and give you ideas. From my point of view I see the poem as a sad poem because nobody likes to be alone because its empty. This poem is really good and it has a very strong meaning.

  19. Though I like to be around other people and somehow fear being alone, this made me think that being alone was okay. As long as you're happy, it's okay to be by yourself, because most things can only be experienced when you're alone. You can hear different things; see different things; talk to different people. It's okay to believe what you want and to make decisions that you'd prefer. Get to know yourself better by wandering the streets alone, because as long as you're happy, it's okay.

  20. I myself was more focused on the style of film rather than the poem (That's not saying I didn't think it was great), and I think the author directed this extremely well. I also admired the minimalist animations in the foreground, they helped calm viewers down. Overall it was a good video.

  21. I really liked this poem because she translated her thoughts and feelings into a poem and made it clear. She's telling us to be ourselves and not care what other people think, and that being alone is okay.

  22. I really enjoyed this poem, Tanya Davis managed to express her feelings and get a message across in an unique and creative way. The words came out of her mouth like a flowing river which made it so interesting and inspiring, overall I really enjoyed this poem.

  23. Wow. I have really enjoyed reading the comments. Such insightful thoughts - and a well chosen provocation. Oh! The timbre of her voice, the music, the animation, the words - the whole package combined to produce something so powerful.

    I grew up in a big, busy family. 4 teenagers, Mum & Dad, cousins around, friends over... Alone is something I very rarely was. Even now, at 35 I am seldom alone, not really.

    Recently I traveled alone in Paris, which to some might sound like a wonderful opportunity, but for me was a source of anxiety. I have always preferred the company of others, so to be alone in another country where I didn't speak the language was, frankly, intimidating.

    I learned a lot of things.
    I learned I *can* be ok by myself.
    I learned I still have a lot to learn about being alone!
    I learned that I still prefer the company of others, but that is probably the very reason I need to learn more about it.

    Pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones is one of the hardest things to do, but sometimes brings the most rewards.

    Thank you JBZ for this lovely bit of poetry to ponder over my morning tea.

  24. Although being alone with oneself is comforting being alone amongst society is quite threatening to self-esteem and perspective of yourself, I believe. Most of the examples in this poem are about being with oneself and how to do that but it doesn't really talk about being alone with society, and being proud of it.

  25. I personally, disagree to this. I believe that our school is one big community. I doubt that the author Tanya Davis is actually alone. But sometimes a feel the joy of being alone in a world of my mind in complete silence.

  26. I think this is kind of depressing and i disagree cause being alone is not always fun.

  27. I agree with this poem because I am almost always alone and only have myself, and weather you like it or not you are alone everyday when you are sleeping. I personally love being alone because as it says in the poem don't neglect your talents, and I will follow my talent.

  28. Wow this was really powerful.

    Its funny how everyone thinks being alone is wrong and being alone ment you are that weirdo loser that doesn't fit in with anyone. but if you think about it we are all alone. we are all different and unique and in this society normal doesn't exist. this so called normal is imposible to achieve. and why would you want to achieve it. you know how your parents keep telling you that you are special and that you are smart and blah blah blah and that you are different. well if you havent noticed they told me the same thing and they still do.

    I think we are all alone because we are all trapped in our own thoughts its like a cage that gets tighter and tighter every time you try to get out. so dont stay in there. no one knows how they fit in to our messed up society today and i say why would you want to fit in.

    "Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it."

    Lonely truly is a freedom try it, put on some headphones and just think about what ever that comes to your mind and just zone out.