I used to go out to the edge of the yard where we had a tire swing hanging from a huge old oak tree. It felt far away from everyone, and I would swing and make up songs for hours.
It seemed like hours, all alone, the lift and fall of the swing, the almost dizzy feeling, the disconnect, and the singing.
One day I heard our sweet old neighbor tell my Mom, “I just love hearing Annie sing her little songs out there in the swing….”
I wasn’t alone.
I was heard, and seen, and what I thought was private was in full view and hearing of a neighbor I barely knew. I felt violated, embarrassed. Ashamed.
I remember the next day I went back out to the swing and just kind of sat there. I knew I wasn’t alone, and I was stuck in that knowledge, stuck in self-consciousness, stuck in awareness.
It took me five minutes or so before I decided that being embarrassed was worth the feeling of singing, swinging, and being myself. I decided to pretend I was alone, and pretty soon I felt alone again, and I was free.
Many times we don’t appreciate the feeling of aloneness.
But there’s a freedom in being alone.
There’s also a freedom in feeling secure enough to act as we want to act, do what we want to do, be who we really are, whether we are alone or surrounded by people.
I mean, maybe keep your clothes on?
But go ahead and sing your little songs.