On Being Happy Alone
I am the happiest I’ve ever been. The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone, but it’s perfect for me. The freedom to go anywhere whenever I want is core to my happiness. And through this lifestyle, I get a unique chance to experiment and find things that make me even more happy.
Since I’ve become a digital nomad, I learned things about my body and health that I couldn’t have easily accessed living in one place. Oh yeah, and I learned I’m a wild girl at heart - nature makes me the happiest. And now I’m learning the necessary skills to be more in sync with nature, increasing my happiness.
But when I tell this to my grandma, she starts yelling at me. She just can’t believe me when I say I’m happy. She thinks that I can only be happy with a man by my side - married with children. And she’s not the only one…
Just now I went to a cafe, where they asked me whether I want my order now or later. I was a bit confused, and said now of course. The lady at the counter then mentioned that she thought I’d be waiting for someone. This happened in a juice bar! Imagine what’s it’s like when I go to fancy dinners by myself - now that becomes very uncomfortable for some people…
One time, in San Francisco, I went to a super nice restaurant for my birthday… by myself! I love being alone on birthday (although I’m sure people don’t believe me). It’s a great chance to be with myself, reflect, and think about my goals for the next year. And I really hate the attention of being the “birthday girl”.
Well, when I got to this restaurant, they couldn’t help but mention that they were just talking about me having a reservation just for myself. Imagine! A woman taking herself out on a fancy date! I didn’t explain to them why I was by myself of course, so I think the only explanation they could come up with was that I was a Michelin-star reviewer (this was a Michelin-rated restaurant). They treated me very well for the rest of the evening!
The thing is, being alone and happy in society is super taboo. You’re supposed to be searching for “your other half”. You can’t be happy until you find that person who makes you happy. You’re not even considered fully alive until you find that person!
But, if you ask me, being solely responsible for another persons happiness seems like a super heavy burden to bear. I’d rather make myself whole and happy. And get into a relationship with another whole and happy person. Imagine how nice that is! Two fully healthy and happy people being together, making each other better. Compare that to two unhappy people getting together and trying to make themselves and each other happy - that sounds miserable!
I know that’s been the case for me. When I’m unhappy and I add another person to the mix, disaster ensues. Unhappy me is very irritable and quick to anger. I can go from 0 to 60 in anger just from one innocent comment. It’s not good for me or them.
Instead, when I’m unhappy, I try to do some solo time - this is what I’ve been doing for the past month in New Zealand. I know how to make myself happy - I’ve done it many times. I need to eat healthy vegan food, be in a beautiful place with clean air and lots of nature, get sleep, exercise, try to meditate. It’s usually that simple.
Once I’ve taken care of myself and am happy again, I can add those other people to the mix if I want. The thing is, I can also be happy alone for a while. I like being happy alone. I like being in full control of my life, doing things I want to do, eating what I want to eat, sleeping when I want to sleep.
A few of my friends have been going through breakups recently, and have asked me how I deal with them. The things is, when I come to the relationship as a full happy person (which is the only way I recommend going into a relationship btw), a breakup is really not a big deal. There, I said it! I know I’m supposed to keel over crying and be miserable and eat ice cream and miss the person, but I just don’t. If we broke up, it was probably because we weren’t happy together and I know I’ll be happier alone. I’m usually actually happier after a break up.
Sure, I had a good time with that person and liked them very much, but they were not the sole reason I am happy - I am the reason I’m happy. I know that I can be happy on my own. We had some great times, but I’m a full happy person who is happy on my own as well as in a relationship.
Yet being happy alone, especially as a woman, is so taboo in society! I really do hope more people break this taboo instead of waiting for a “prince charming” to come save them! I guess it’s much easier to think that someone else will come along and fix you than doing the hard work yourself. But when you do do the work, it’s better for everyone involved, including society as a whole!