“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.” (Audrey Hepburn: Many-Sided Charmer, LIFE Magazine, December 7, 1953)
I get this. The feeling of needing to be alone, of needing that time to yourself to refuel is all very familiar to me. Even when I was a kid, I was a bit of a loner. (That’s how I always seem to phrase it to people – a bit of a loner because anything more I fear would elicit images from the movies of the crazy hermit). As a child and even into my teenage years, I fought this tendency. It didn’t feel “normal”. At times, my feelings were hurt because I didn’t have as many friends as others and I would wonder what was wrong with me. I wanted to be the “popular girl” – or so I thought.
As an adolescent, I formed quite a few friendships and was even a part of the “cool kids” group. That should have made me happy right? It was what I had always craved. And yet, I came to realize that some of those times when I was little and I felt all alone, I actually wasn’t upset about it. I tried to convince myself that I was lonely…that I should be lonely. But I really wasn’t. And in those times filled with the raucous laughter of friends, often what I really wished for deep inside was solitude.
Over the years, I’ve grown to accept, even treasure the loner in me. She loves deeply, cares greatly, feels strongly. She is happy and optimistic and easy-going. Time alone feeds my soul, replenishes my mind, and soothes my heart.