On Solitude and Spring Break

tumblr_mk5h9d5IYn1qmywbko1_500I’ve been on Spring Break this week, and, for those of you who don’t know, Spring Break for people over the age of 30 typically means sleeping past 6am and catching up on housework.

Both of these I have accomplished, in addition to handsomely chopping down my to-do list.

I’ve also been flying solo with week, with the g/f in Cleveland on a job.  Historically, I haven’t been very good at being by myself for any extended period of time.  I haven’t lived alone in almost 10 years, and I wasn’t very good at it when I did.  Alone time is when all your weird and disordered habits creep into your mind space.  Things like my strange and complicated relationship with food, a preference for 45 minute baths over 10 minute showers, and an affinity for the Discovery Fit and Health Channel, which, by the way, doesn’t even come in HD, making it even more pathetic.

I’m not saying that these habits went away; this week, I still spent a good chunk of time in the bath and in front of DFH.  I went to battle with a bag of dried cranberries and stayed up until 2am watching Dances With Wolves for the 16th time.  But I also felt strangely in control of my behavior. Make no mistake, this is a huge breakthrough for me.  I can’t say whether it’s maturity, confidence, a different living situation, all, or none of the above.  What I can say, is that I’m now able to embrace my weirdness and be comfortable with myself – even when I’m by myself.

Tomorrow I’m taking myself on my first solo hike.  Ok, so maybe it’s a small forest preserve in Crystal Lake, IL and not the Appalachian Trail.  The point is, for a long time I’ve wanted to experience hiking alone but never had the chutzpah to do it.  I’ll be sure to make a full report.

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Lauren Warnecke is a freelance writer and editor, focused on dance and cultural criticism in Chicago and across the Midwest. Lauren is the dance critic for the Chicago Tribune, editor of See Chicago Dance, and founder/editor of Art Intercepts, with bylines in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Holding degrees in dance and kinesiology, Lauren is an instructor of dance and exercise science at Loyola University Chicago.

3 thoughts on “On Solitude and Spring Break”

    1. Hi Tammy! It was totally awesome! I’m having a crazy crazy busy month and so I haven’t had a chance to write about it. But I took some pictures and had a really fun time 🙂 hope you are well! Spring is near…

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