Happily & Radically Alone...

By Lucy Harbron - 21:18

Dress : ASOS (shop here)

Come September, I’ll be living alone, my footsteps the only ones to occupy the space. I thought there would be two sets of feet, but so is life. All the space will be mine and mine only.

At 20, I can’t help but feel like this shouldn’t terrify me so much. I imagine so many people would be jealous, wishing they could live alone and have a place that is theirs, no extra mess or noise. But instead, I’ve been avoiding the thought of it for weeks, feeling my breath speed up at the mention, push it down down down when normally I’d have planned every detail down to the bedding by now. The thought of the place scares me because the way I imagined it to be won’t exist anymore. I will be alone there.

Each time someone calls me inspiring or empowering, I feel a pang of guilt, because I’m undeniable reliant. The feminist voice in my head is sick at the knowledge that I haven’t been truly single since the age of 16, always someone’s girlfriend or a name popping up on a phone. My youth is signposted my heartbreaks, one for GCSE, A-Level, year 1 and year 2. And heartbreaks is right, I have never said the final words, always giving myself fully to my relationships and friendships alike, always diving head first, as is expected of women, and always ending up breaking my neck. Though there’s comfort in knowing I can never be called selfish or haunted by ‘if onlys’, I think it’s time to get comfortable in that. At 20, it’s definitely time to learn to be selfish, get comfortable with being happily and radically alone.

“Your solace lies in your solitude”

 If Chidera Eggerue, AKA The Slumflower, isn’t on your radar, acquaint yourself. Her twitter has become a daily check-in point for me, a bible, as she preaches knowing your damn worth, learning to like yourself so other people’s opinions mean nothing, and never, ever wasting your time or jeopardising your spirit in places/situations/relationships that don’t raise you up. She’s shouting for women everywhere to grow, leave situations and people that don’t allow that, and always know you deserve more. Amen.

For the past month, in the rapture of a heartbreak, I’ve been adopting her voice, whispering her words to myself even though I don’t believe them quite yet. Her book, ‘ What a Time to be Alone’, couldn’t be released at a better time and you best believe I’ll be running to Waterstones to get my copy tomorrow. When I stop to think about her lessons, I realise what I need is no one, it’s time to be alone. And so I’ve vowed that to myself, in my new flat and my final year of uni, I will be alone. I will surround myself only with friends and family that love me unconditionally, help me and want me to glow. I won’t allow any toxicity in, no one who will bring insecurity and doubt in on their shoes, I will control all feelings that pass my door, filtering it down to only those that are beneficial.

And for me, that’s women. For me, my female friends and influences on my life are the ones that love me best and challenge me to be better and bigger than I am now. I feel strongest with them, with sisters by my side to tell me it straight, let me cry, talk rubbish with me, speak deeply with me, and remind me what I’m worth. So I’m building a bubble of divine feminine energy only.

My living room will be dotted with pink pillows squashed by friends, my bedroom will be draped with plants, books, feminist cross-stitches, art made by me and my friends, my kitchen will cook only meals of love and gratitude, never meals that beg ‘please like me’, my dining room table will seat no tension. My door will glow to me, I will know there is only good energy behind it, healing and homely.

The thought makes me a little less scared. Turning the image of an empty space into a canvas. I will be alone there, and so I can make it what I want. All decoration, mine. All energy, mine. All decisions, mine. Mine, me, me. It’s time for me.

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