top of page

why doing it solo isn't always so low

Jumping right back into the swing of writing with a tacky title because 1) I can (perks of a personal website), and 2) it was either this or something "next level" descriptive and limiting like "the love-hate dynamic of doing things in yo lonesome" or "why dating yourself isn't hating yourself".


I digress.


but first, a preface

Because it wouldn't be a true ATBK post without one.


Since there is plenty to be said about being intentional with the time you give and spend with yourself, and as each person has more depth than a meme or 3 minute one-size-fits-all reminder can provide them, this will be a more zealous read.


Though there is value in all forms of sharing - I'm not here for the short scripts, at least not this time around.


Not when it comes to this.


And because I find the discussion of "what it means to show up for yourself" extremely gray yet straight forward, raw and honest - there are so many ways this could go (we'll see how it turns out I guess?).


It's also the reason it's taken me more time than I expected of myself to gather my scrambled thoughts and experiences as it relates to this topic, bring them into this space, tie them up "neatly and legible" before tapping the forsaken publish button.


Because in typical Kimber fashion, I don't choose easy topics to write about.


So I convinced myself these last few months that, "once it is perfectly said and I feel confident that at least one other person can relate, then I will click publish".


I have obviously now decided against that, as it would take literal years, and I am now just going to write based on what feels right to me (and also still hope someone reads this, come on now).


All that jibberish to say, this post is going to be a bit personal, a tad lengthy, potentially relatable, and 100%, well, Kimber.

It's also kind of humorous to me that one of my more recent posts emphasized on the importance of community and reaching out to others, rather than always doing things on your own.


Seems to work out, since this time around, we'll be looking at the other side of that coin, calling out and focusing on the moments when we choose (or are "stuck with") ourselves and how much goodness can happen in the presence of one.


Learning how to show up for yourself is one of life's most rewarding and excruciating lessons.


So without further adieu, let's talk about why doing things solo isn't always going to be so low.


Why Solo Time Really Matters

You know those moments when you're like "dang, I really don't want to be alone right now", and nobody is available (or your only friends live in a different state because that's a thing when you're an adult, by the way)?


My friend, that is likely a moment when you need to be alone.

Or at least look at the situation through a different lens.


We rely on others, and that's good.

Community, building relationships and strengthening connections is quite frankly a requirement to survival on more than one front and to trust someone else will be there for and with you is a huge part of that. If we didn't have other people to come alongside us, we would get stuck in our own heads in the not-so-best-of-ways.


But it's not entirely practical to believe we can rely on a person or group of people in different circles at all times of the day.


People will not always be available when you want them to be.


And that does not translate to mean they care for you any less (it could be, but let's trust they'll tell you that, yeah?) - it just means every person is (are you ready for it?) a human being.


But you know what you're left with?

Another chance to show up for yourself in ways others can't, and in doing so time and time again, you learn to build trust with yourself.


There are a number of reasons why doing things alone can feel depleting or intimidating (both universal and personal). One in particular that I want to talk about for a minute is the fact that you end up discovering more about the one person you spend your entire life with: you.


It's like when you have a roommate, you strive to set boundaries with them otherwise you would go a little bonkers if you spent every minute of the day with them - except you're the roommate and you can't leave.

And though there are flaws, scars, fears and other unappealing traits you find about yourself in this existence, there is right beside those things beauty in its' rarest form, resilience, joy, light, and immeasurable worth.


In the space where you're forced to examine who you are apart from who you're with or what you do, there's also time to lean into your passions separate from what they should be (you know, the one's your parents told you?) - apart from the influence of those around you.


This is important because when we sway with ever changing trends, or preferences of others and hot topics, we are more likely to get lost, off centered and unable to solidify our own foundation.


Of course, we're inevitably going to be influenced by the world around us (experiences, books, people, places, etc.) - but it's up to each person to determine how any of those influences will impact and line up with what they want for themselves (and yes, there are experiences that impact us subconsciously and it takes literal years to figure out what the actual fu--, that is for another day).


You know the phrase "you can't love until you learn to love yourself"?
Let's put it in Kimber terms (in other words: make it make sense).

It's nearly impossible to fully grasp how to show and receive love, in whatever form it takes, if you do not first come to acknowledge how you yourself are best loved and how you find joy in loving others.


In taking the time to be with yourself, to know yourself, and to care for yourself you get closer to understanding what it means to love and to be loved.


The word love has honestly been so convoluted in our culture, it feels weird to write the word so many times.

This isn't Notebook love, or the love you feel toward your favorite breakfast food.


It's to allow somebody to just be.

It is fueled by vulnerability and consistently showing up.

Though it can be sensed by a feeling, it holds more depth and intensity than a romance novel would lead us to believe.


And another persons' involvement is not a requirement to sense love, because you yourself embody it.

As we navigate through "loving ourselves" (easy peezy, let me just add it to my Sunday to-do list), we are better equipped to walk into current and new relationships.

Personal and relational expectations and boundaries are set and expressed more clearly (hello, improved communication that comes over time and healing) and the level of co-dependency where our happiness relies on another person is null and void.


To be clear, you will absolutely still feel challenging emotions like disappointment or rejection.

This isn't about doing everything you can to avoid those emotions, more so how to sit in the discomfort.


Alone.


To back-pack off of that, another major reason solo time is prime time is you become attentive to your own needs, desires and even triggers (what sets you off and why).

In that fun process, with a little help from our friends, we learn to differentiate when our mind is speaking truth versus when it feeds us a false narrative.



Let's Re-frame the Concept of "Dating Thyself"

To anyone whose autopilot response is "wow, that's sad": we know.

Now shut it and keep reading (said with love or whatever).


Clarifying comment: when I say "date yourself" - it's not in the same sense that many within Christian circles will say you need to court someone before making it official.


Simply put, to date yourself is to be intentional with the time you give yourself, and to offer that space to yourself more often than not.


In my experience, taking time to be intentionally present with me, myself and I has benefits that outweigh the cost, risk or guilt.


Do some of those perks come after pity parties, mascara running down my face and feeling isolated from others?

You betcha.


There might also be days where I find myself asking my apartments' four walls "how is an empty cup supposed to fill an empty cup?" and it's me. I am the cup.

Anyone relate?


To give a little background, this concept of "getting to know me" didn't start out as a voluntary practice, and I also didn't have a coined phrase like "I'm dating myself" - I would just do things alone.


Growing up, I had to do things solo.

And as years passed by and events took place, my inner child collaborated with every other part that held influence inside me and I found that doing things solo had morphed into a comforting rhythm of mine.


Fast forward to me writing this post, where I get to share why I feel this is something everyone could put into practice.


That and I've had many "a-ha" moments where I'll be driving and it hits me: how much more can be done if and when we do what our souls cry for with no pending acceptance letter from friends or strangers?


If you want it, chase it.


In tending to ourselves in ways others possibly can't (therefore, removing some resentment), we tune out the questions like "Am I too much? Do I matter? Do I offend? Do I fit in? Do I look the part that's accepted?"



Some Ways to Approach the Solo

As humans, I feel like we have this ingrained desire to be on the go (or maybe this is something we've been wired to believe over the years because, obviously, productivity leads to success and success measures our worth...).


Or we keep busy because we would rather escape the possibility of being alone (it can be exhausting, ya know?).


Another key factor is that time is extremely limited and though you may want to have time for yourself, the responsibilities in life set themselves as priority.


Let's not forget, however, that you are just as much a priority as anything or anyone on your radar.


Here are a few keys to approaching solo time:


1) Be intentional with the time you set give yourself. Be it five minutes to grab coffee or five days on a vacation. This is the umbrella of all that is time spent doing literally anything - and it applies to you, party of one.

2) If you come to it and you're not in the mindset (graugy, angry, depressed) more reason to do it, in my opinion. Am I encouraging you to go out when your body and mind are begging you to isolate?

Yes and no.

I'm a sucker for "listening to your gut", and at the same time pushing yourself to do the potentially intimidating act of doing things solo. Because when all the negative "what if's" are running rampant in our lovely brains, there is also the grand "what if it all works out and you are fueled in a way you didn't know you needed?". The latter is why we do it.

3) Set your phone to "do not disturb" as you do what you do to self center again (while you cook yourself a home made meal and settle in for some trash T.V.)

4) Go solo to an event, or do an activity, that you would typically do with another person, like the movies or a concert. This is one of my favorite ways to learn more about what truly gives me life because I'm not reading off of the people around me like the people pleaser I am.


Consider all you can do and what you can be with what you have rather than focusing on what you don't have and what you are unable to do without another person around (for those who just want to cuddle, king pillows are great, and they also don't have bad breath).

Do you know how much freedom is in that shift in perspective?

How much power you actually hold here?


Closing Confession time...

I don't want to be naive or ignorant and claim to know the unique path you are paving, deconstructing and walking down.


I also don't intend for my words to give the illusion that being by yourself - especially for extended periods of time - is easy, because it's really not (we've all had to experience that a lot in the last few years, yay global pandemics).


The words shared in this space are from experience, not assumption.

This walk is mine, and I want to honor the one that you call your own.


I know the desire to be held. The hope of that text that never comes.

The longing to be known, seen and heard by another person, not as you should be, but as you are.


The most challenging part of it all is turning those moments where we feel disappointed by the lack of people showing up into a space where you can inspire, attend to and care properly for yourself.

(Nearing the end, ya'll, we close).


The other night, I wrote a portion of this post on unseen paper with ink, hard to read and stained with wine. Seeing that I didn't have anything planned, and nobody was around - I just kept thinking "I want to be taken out", and so I took myself out.


And though my eyes burned holding back tears for a moment - with the flickering thought, the societal norm that had told me I need someone else to know what love is - a crooked smile shortly followed as I ate food for my body, swayed to live music for my soul and wrote out my heart for my mind.


All at a candlelit table set-up for one.


Another less exciting solo moment was shortly after I got home from that and cried in the bath tub - because I needed that just as much as I needed the food.


Not all moments of doing it solo will be "revolutionary", entertaining or attractive.

It can be unbearable, lonely, brutal and maddening.


and


It can be extraordinary, liberating, proud, mundane and full of indescribable joy.


Through all of that - amidst the speckled doubt and hurt - you become the "someone" you needed to know what love is.


And that is what leads me to believe you are someone worth knowing - you just need to give yourself the time and effort to know them.



bottom of page