Monday Motivation: The World is Your Oyster

Monday Motivation

I live alone in a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. I typically walk the city, drive places and even travel longer-distances alone. Clearly not all the time, no. But often, I am alone.

The idea of being alone used to scare me. I remember before moving to San Francisco in 2005 that I felt that I needed a friend to move with me in order to make the leap and get a new place 3,000 miles away from “home.” I worried about needing the company of another person all the time, as well as about how my social life would be if I didn't have a live-in buddy to join me for adventures. I quickly found that, once my old college roomate and I moved in together again, we didn't have as much in common as we used to. We had (and still have) a great friendship, but the social aspect of how we lived our lives had changed. We still did a lot of things together, but we also had a lot of different interest and different new friends to spend time with each on our own. She moved back to Queens less than a year after we had moved to San Francisco.  I've now lived on my own since 2006 and it's been one of the best life-experiences I've had. 

Granted, being alone can become lonely at times, but it's not too often that it happens, especially as you become more comfortable with yourself and spending time as you choose. When you're alone, there's no one to answer to. No one to tell you what to do, to fuss over what you'll both eat for dinner that night, what watch on tv or listen to on the radio. You get to plan your day according to your own whims and fancies, adding in the company of others as you like, or not. I have found that one of the best ways to get to know yourself is to spend more time with yourself. And only with yourself. If you don't want to spend time with yourself, who else will? This goes for the single and non-single people alike.

When you're alone, the world is your oyster.

I know a lot of single people, not all of whom share my view, but many of whom do. I can honestly say that, for those who don't, reframing their mental outlook on life to this approach would help their cause whether they would like to find a partner or not. Regardless of what you want in life, people will always find others with a positive attitude more attractive, as friends or as more. The only way to move through life in a productive way is to recognize the beauty and lessons in where you are at any given time, as well as the precious value of time and the sense of urgency with which pursuing happiness should be faced. If you're not happy, I don't know what matters more than figuring out how to become happy.

I often wake up thinking, “the world is my oyster.”

I get to choose what I want to do that day, in its entirety. Sure, I have clients I've scheduled, deadlines to meet for articles I've agreed to write, classes at the gym I want to attend with set time schedules. But they're all choices I've made, and gladly. What do you wake up thinking? If it's something negative, maybe it's time for a change. This post is not just for the single people out there. And I'm not saying it means we all need to be alone or on our own to have this perspective in any way. I just want everyone to realize that in the end, all we have is ourselves. Be happy with who you are, be able to and have a desire to spend time with yourself from time to time, and realize the freedom to make choices in your life.

Be the driver, not a passenger. The world is your oyster, too.

Comments 23

  1. “Regardless of what you want in life, people will always find others with a positive attitude more attractive, as friends or as more.” COULD NOT AGREE MORE 🙂 you make Monday mornings more positive!!!!!!

      1. If your not happy with yourself in your “alone” state, what happiness can you provide another person?

        Your pal,


  2. Great article. I was married for 44 years and in 2007 my husband passed away. I had spent time alone throughout our marriage, he was in the military for 20 years and we owned business that would keep us apart for a few days at a time, but we always knew that one of us would be returning. When he died, that was final. I have always been a very strong person and knew that being alone would be a huge adjustment, but I could do it. Do I miss my husband, absolutely, but I am doing ok. I’m happy, have a new career, great family and friends and of course my dog. It is doable, just keep the positive attitude and things will work out.

  3. Lovely words, Diane, and so perfect for a Monday!

    I find that having that alone time – whether it’s traveling (at least once!) in your life completely solo, living alone for years, or just taking time to be disconnected and alone – is so critical for us as individuals to truly know ourselves – and love ourselves. I really and truly believe that it’s then (once we’re comfortable in our own skin) that we can take that full “world is my oyster” perspective that you so wonderfully describe and live! That’s not to say that we run around being egomaniacs just thinking we are the cat’s meow. It’s more of just knowing who we are, what we like/dislike, and being able to know who and what we want to surround ourselves with, what that world/oyster picture is for us.

    Remember the scene in Jerry Maguire (no, not the “You complete me/had me at hello” one)…the one where it’s Jerry’s bachelor party, and they are showing that video of all his ladies and friends, and they are all saying how “he can’t be alone” over and over, that he’s good at friendship, but lousy at intimacy? While a work of fiction, I think there are quite a few people I know who are that way, almost uncomfortable in their own skin, unable to have those alone moments.

    That’s not to say everyone is that way. However, I’m a big believer in having YOU time, in that then you are far more capable of living the life YOU want, attracting people into your life that YOU want, and making that whole world your oyster!

    Thanks for the Monday musings, Diane!

    1. Thank you for the kind words- and for taking the time to share your thoughts. You are so right-on about the Jerry Maguire reference!

  4. I love this article. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the world is your oyster when you feel stuck in certain circumstances. I appreciate the reminder! 🙂

    1. We all get stuck in crappy situations. My 88 year old grandma was complaining about hip pain the other day when I took her on a trip to Target. We got there and were sitting for a minute while she sipped on a Frappuccino (yes, I let her indulge, she IS 88 after all! I did not drink that….!) and I pointed out a woman likely in her 40s in a wheelchair clearly due to some serious illness or injury (no with a visibly broken or injured limb, nor overweight to need the chair) who was smiling. Sometimes just getting a little perspective on life helps to turn our mind around, ya know?

  5. “If you don’t want to spend time with yourself, who else will? This goes for the single and non-single people alike.”

    Brilliant Diane.

    “The only way to move through life in a productive way is to recognize the beauty and lessons in where you are at any given time, as well as the precious value of time and the sense of urgency with which pursuing happiness should be faced. If you’re not happy, I don’t know what matters more than figuring out how to become happy.”

    Also brilliant!

    And your post could not be timed any more perfectly. In fact, its kind of scary. Frightening. I just moved out of my parents, just become independent last night.

    On the fly.

    I was planning on moving out in October. Going down to Orlando. But i just upped and left last night. Around 7:00 PM EST I had no plans to move out. At 8:00 EST I was all over it.

    It was crazy. But its been a blast so far.

    Being able to choose exactly how you want to spend your day is such a blessing. It’s something that our hunter-gatherer ancestors had waaaaaaaaay more than us. We are go go go these days. We all need to slow down. To spend time with ourselves and just reflect.

      1. Love this article! I completely agree and it makes me feel so good that someone else believes this too! I must have my alone time. I’m lucky to live by myself so it’s pretty easy but I have alone time often and make sure I have some extended time on the weekends.

  6. thanks for this! although i’m currently in a relationship i really value my alone time and enjoy going to do things by myself-walks, seeing a film my partner doesn’t want to see, etc. up until about a year ago i lived alone for about 5 years for the first time in my life, and i’m in my early 50’s!
    i often miss living alone though my partner is pretty respectful of my time/space as i am of his.

    1. It’s great wisdom. My grandma is 88 and is alone for the first time since she was 17 since my grandfather passed a few months ago. She is having a VERY hard time with it, so I know that learning these lessons at a younger age is valuable.

  7. Love this, its alway good to hear that Im not crazy. I have traveled alone and with people. I find one is limited when traveling with others because one must come to concenceus about when, where, and what to do, and it sometimes limits us to meeeting new people.

    While in New Zealand I traveled alone but was never alone, I met so many people!

    If I was to do it again I would choose to go alone, I love being open to meeting new folks!!

    Thanks Diane! Good stuff as usual : )

  8. Yes a very good and well timed article. I have lived alone since 2006 when I finished my PhD, left New Zealand and came and lived in North America to work as a scientist. I have moved around a lot since then, but predominantly on my own. I do get lonely sometimes, but in general, I think your article is pretty accurate. Living overseas where you don’t know anyone at all ( I think I am 10000 miles from home) you really need to put yourself out there because other people already have established lives. I am still learning to do this. Hence, why I am here writing on a blog on a Saturday evening.

  9. I was doing my own reflection trying to find the “World is my Oyster” story and i saw this blog … I like it and it was like its me writing because I have the same experience not so long ago 🙂
    This is a good read on an Easter Sunday evening.

  10. I’m on Day 7 of my Sugar Detox and got the email with this article. It’s amazing how good its timing is. About three weeks ago, my husband started a new job that includes extended stays overseas so now I’m getting reacquainted with living alone for the first time in over 16 years (and that first time, I was nowhere near as together as I am now). Thank you for the motivation.

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