“Getting to know myself” was a little nugget phrase in a text message from a close friend. We were discussing the value of alone time and for whatever reason those four words resonated with me. I guess it’s because I never put “myself” into that kind of context. It seems odd to say that you’re getting to know yourself; isn’t that already a given? Are you actually going to find anything out? Anything new? Surprisingly enough, you can. I’ve spent a lot of this summer alone, and I was absolutely dreading it at first. Heck, I was dreading being alone it all freaking year! I came around, though, and alone time is now something that I strive to carve into my days. I never realized how great it can be, and how much you can get to know yourself if you facilitate proper “mingling.” For the past year, I’ve tried applying declaratory statements to who I am and then living up to them, in some feeble attempt to grow into some perfected self. Why should I be doing that to myself, when that’s not what I do to others? When you are getting to know someone, don’t you ask questions and take time to feel them out and really get to know them? Do you actually expect them to be perfect? No! Now I understand that as I continue to grow as this awesome (duh ;)) individual, I need to take time to patiently listen and understand my heart, my persona, and everything else that drives my desires and growth. By making it a point to fit in alone time on a regular basis, I can make sure that I’m in check with myself. I can evaluate my stress levels in a healthy matter, reduce them by having the time for making lists or baking, and enjoy myself by reading a great book or catching up on emails or just sitting and listening. Oh, and happily drinking coffee. That’s the cherry on top! Take a half hour today and go somewhere you love. Even if it’s just a Starbucks in town, adventure there, order something yummy, and savor the time you have to yourself. It can really do wonders for you.