Flowers above a stairs

I came to the realization that most of the people I have now in my life are individuals who are comfortable being alone with themselves for long stretches of time.

Many of them are contemplatives with daily practices that require alone time and concentration. But some of them are just artists with weird ideas that suck them into blissful isolation most days.

I often wonder whether having friends who are introverted and monkish in nature is healthy for my well-being. These are people I get to see after long periods of time stretching from a week to months. I would love to be with them more often but here’s the challenge: they require a lot of alone time, and I require it too.

Contrary to popular belief, creativity blossoms in routine and habit. I have rituals that get me into the mood to write, take photos, or just think. And these rituals are daily and weekly. I would wager that all my cool friends have rituals too. These rituals need commitment and structure: a weird “paradox” where order creates chaotic creativity.

What I notice is that these friends of mine, who are comfortable being by themselves, are also the healthiest people I know emotionally and mentally. They do not need other people to complete them. They are complete by themselves and so when they offer themselves to others they do so from a place of abundance rather than need.

These are people who are self-aware, who knows what they want, what they value, and what their standards and boundaries are. These are people who can sit with uncomfortable emotions and thoughts that often visit when one is alone. These are people who don’t need chemicals or vices to get through difficult times or loneliness.

I would love to always be with these people. But I also see that to be with them requires that I respect and honor their time, routine, and tendencies. Because these are the things that make them awesome. And if this means I will be seeing them after a month or so, that’s okay. Because the long wait is always worth it.