“How to be alone” ~ 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 can 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 is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with 
yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go 

And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if 
your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation. 

Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based 
on your avoid being alone principles. 

The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by chow
-downers, employees who only have an hour and their spouses 
work across town, and 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 an intriguing a person when you are eating solo dessert 
and 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’s 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 until 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 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 book of blessings. 

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

Society is afraid of alone though. 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 breathes easy and weightless, and 
lonely is healing if you make it. 

You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your 
partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for 

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your 
thoughts an 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 pre-school over to high school groaning, 
we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay. 

'Cause if you’re happy in your head, then 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 
relieved, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, 
and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is 
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 a religious sect is not meant 
for you, don’t obsess about it. 

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it. 

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it. 

There is heat in freezing, be a testament.


Copyrights: Tanya Davis

Tanya Davis is a Canadian singer-songwriter and poet, based in 
Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her style is marked primarily by spoken 
word poetry set to music.


I couldn’t resist sharing this poem. So beautiful and touching. All credits to  Tanya Davis


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