“If you’re happy in your head then solitude is blessed and alone is okay.”

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I was instantly sucked in:

I was born good at being alone. Even as a baby I could entertain myself for hours. One of the few things I actually liked about living in the city was how easy it was to be alone and not look like a weirdo. When I first moved to Brooklyn and I was still jobless, I spent my days wandering the streets, iPod playing, popping in and out of stores, sitting on park benches. No one looks at you twice. If you did that in the suburbs, someone would call the police on you, convinced you were trying to kidnap the children on the playground.

For some reason though, this got me thinking about pubs — as in the ones that dot the British countryside, acting as a community gathering place for the people who live in villages. I’d love to live in an Irish village, walking a couple times a week from my cottage to the pub. It’s funny how small town life and city life both offer the ability to be alone without really being alone, but in two totally different ways. In a city it’s practically impossible to be physically alone — you can be around hundreds of people and just melt into the crowd. In a small town, there is plenty of physical solitude to be had, but the tight knit community never lets you be really alone.

 

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