Being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely

“How to Be Alone” describes how not to be lonely in solitude.

It’s Friday and you have no plans. “No one loves me, that must be the reason,” you think to yourself. It’s probably best if you just crawl under the sheets and pretend this Friday isn’t even on the calendar, right?

Maybe not. In Tanya Davis’ new poetry book “How to Be Alone,” with illustrations by Andrea Dorfman, the two women describe the art of being alone — yes, it’s an art — in a way that will make you want to friend up with yourself and explore the world through only your own eyes.

“I think there is a stigma about being alone in public; I can see why people avoid it,” says Davis, a singer-songwriter who embraced solitude as a way to hone her art. “I used to do it because I didn’t want people to think that I didn’t have any friends or essentially that I was unlovable. … [But] when we spend a lot of time alone all of our thoughts, all of our regrets, all of our fears and anxiety can come up because we have space to entertain them.”

As a part of her journey to understand what it felt like to be alone, she wrote the poem that became the book. It turned out to not just to be an aid for herself, but something that resonated with millions of people: The video version has almost six million views on YouTube. Davis credits that to solitude — which yes, can become scary and lonely — being “a pretty universal experience.”

But just because it’s scary, you shouldn’t run away from it, the author says.

“Our heads can be really hard and mean and there is sadness in life,” she says. “But I think it’s OK to go into it a bit. With the sadness, there is also joy that you can only access if you quiet down for a minute.” The result you might come across is “joy that doesn’t come from things or people.”

Try it

So how can you feel comfortable spending some solo time? Here are some tips from Davis:

  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Have some patience and just try baby steps. Maybe go out for a coffee alone if you are not comfortable going out for dinner alone.
  • Remember that even though you are alone right now, you are not actually fully alone. You are still a part of life.
  • Don’t get caught up worrying what other people think if they spot you alone. No one cares as much about us as we care about ourselves.

News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.