The Act of Being Intentionally Alone


Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

Dear reader:

I am sitting here in one of my favorite diners — family run, mainly runs on cash and great food. Of course, it is dark outside where I am in the North around 5 pm. But, I am alone. Alone at my booth and enjoying myself with only two other people here: the waiter and a security guard who came in for a cup of coffee.

I love being alone, the ability to think alone, the creativity I have of being alone, and the joy of finding pleasure in my own company. Yes, I am that person that encourages herself (and others) to find joy in their own company. You can, too – find joy in your own company, that is.


I find it fascinating that the devastation that COVID on the world truly pushed others into two categories: being alone 100% or finding some community to stay afloat. It truly pushed people to think about the aspect of being alone and some did not find it wanting. This inner need, from my perspective, is driven by the aspect of being lonely. According to Webster’s Dictionary, lonely has two key definitions: being without company and being cut off from others.
Please, stay with me as the waiter brings me my vanilla milkshake. Now, the intentional act of being alone is the unmentioned third category of the two spoke choices above. It is one category that I am personally fond of. After all, it is in human nature to have moments of solitude —intentional or not. Well, speaking of solitude these days, it has been affected by the slot machine that a smartphone has become that encourages people to scroll and passively engage needlessly. It can barely leave any time to yourself for your ideas and thoughts to flow into awareness.
Recently, I have been engaging in different topics around the attention of the human mind. One of these topics comes from my reading of Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work. This book has reminded me of different moments when I choose intentional solitude to ‘get things done’. For example, I recall moments like studying alone at the library, going on walks alone to think, reading an interesting novel alone, and eating alone at my favorite cafe. Newport focuses on intentional solitude of one’s self and not being far from civilization.
I want to note my previous examples were solo acts that I have shared with others too as communal acts but, I have enjoyed them the most as solo acts. That is one of the main ideas of taking on the process of Deep Work. Like, I am writing this essay at my favorite diner away from my laptop and phone with my essay notebook that I acquired for this deep work purpose. Now for the intentional steps that I want to share with you to think about as I eat my waffles:
  • Think of your past experiences with activities: Write about moments where you have done activities completely alone and shared with others and write them down.
  • Answer the following questions: What are things that you have always wanted to share with someone else but did not? Why? Are you scared of sharing, or have you not found the proper connection yet?
  • Think of your 2023 goals in two categories: Write down what you can do alone and what you can share with others intentionally. Sometimes, you may desire the support of an accountable partner, a friend, or a family member. Sometimes, you may want a goal to keep a secret.
I hope you enjoy this food of thought that I bought for you today. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me – in the comments or by email.
For further reading: If you are a New York Times subscriber, you may enjoy the 7-Day Happiness Challenge. I have finished the series where I have enjoyed emails/articles by Jancee Dunn on taking care of your emotional, psychological and physical health through building connections. Yes, I spoke about being alone but intentionally alone in this essay. Enjoy.


[tipjarwp id=”1″]


Author Profile

Sterling Jones
Sterling Jones is the Editor in Chief of The Beauté Study, where is responsible for leading the editorial calendar and creation of online educational content across all categories, brand partnerships, VIP concierge, agency-side of business, and online classes. Sterling loves to write and create engaging content about the power of beauty, cultural trends and lifestyle brands. She founded this platform in 2017 and organically grown into a trusted media platform with the support of a growing population of feminine women growing and defining in their beauty epiphanies. Under her leadership, the brand has worked with other brands in partnership like La Mer, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Mejuri, Follain, Cocokind Skincare, Moisture Love, Rein Beauty, Proven Skincare, The Beaute Culture Conference, QCNY Luxury Spa, Merit Beauty, and more. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Sterling holds two undergraduate degrees in Art History and Business of Beauty and Fragrance, the perfect blend between cultural know-how. She can be found on all socials under @thesterlingstudy.

Learn from The Beauté Glossary

Want The Latest in Beauté News with Tips and Tricks?

Sign up today to The Beauté Edit newsletter to receive the beauté guidance you deserve!