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I have lived alone for 15 years. My dog is my only companion. I have no partner and I'm not looking for one. I travel alone, hike alone, sing alone and garden alone. Sometimes I listen to music. Most often I listen to silence. I am a nurse and I work with people. I have friends but I don't need them around me all the time. I think I'm less distracted now and better able to meet each relationship individually and with my whole self than I was before. I'm calmer than I used to be and less afraid. Solitude need not be lonely. It has taught me to listen and participate more fully in my relationships. It has brought me a strong, centered sense of self and inner peace.