How To Be Alone

A video by fiilmaker, Andrea Dorfman, and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis.

Davis wrote the beautiful poem and performed in the video which Dorfman directed, shot, animated by hand and edited. The video was shot in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was produced by Bravo!FACT

For more information on Tanya, go to or visit her facebook page at!/pages/Tanya-Davis/8063194647?ref=sgm You can purchase her first two CDs Make A List and Gorgeous Morning on iTunes and look out for her third CD which will be released in the fall!

For more information on Andrea Dorfman, visit her facebook page or

This video was shot on a Panasonic HVX 200 and the animation was hand drawn+painted and then scanned into Adobe After Effects, exported as QTs and edited on FCP.

HOW TO BE ALONE by Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.

There’s also the gym. If you’re shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in (guitar stroke).

And there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there’s prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously (electric guitar plucking) based on your avoid being alone principals.

The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they — like you — will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less intriguing a person when you’re eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor till the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching…because, they’re probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there’re always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might’ve never happened had you not been there by yourself

Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.

You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one’s in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept.

Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you’re happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be releived, keeps things interesting lifes magic things in reach.

And it doesn’t mean you’re not connected, that communitie’s not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn’t get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

you could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it
If your heart is bleeding make the best of it
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.


41 thoughts on “How To Be Alone

  1. Mastering loneliness is just like mastering anything else. Time and experience. That's all you need. I used to crave a solution to it, but found that I could never hurt myself the way other people have hurt me when I've tried living on that other side. Accept your situation and embrace it. Make the best of it like this video says. The thing you're seeking could very well hurt you far worse than you are hurting now. Give it some time, and learn to be alone. It will take time, and it will take experience. Acceptance is key.

  2. I stumbled upon this video 8 years ago and it gave me strength and courage to face life alone. I still come back from time to time to watch it. To understand the difference of how to be alone and being lonely. Embrace it, learn to enjoy your own company, after all,​ it's your best company.

  3. I dont know how to be alone.
    I have problem connecting with ppl, so I removed, distanced myself from most of them (exept some close friends)
    So what I did, i found places to escape at early age: books
    I use to read a lot, then later on I found gaming, so I played a lot

    What happeded is that lately I distanced away from friends as well, life changed, so did we
    And now I distanced away from reading and gaming as well
    Reading and gaming use to be a big part of my life, my free time, so at this point im in crisis, dont know what to do with myself

    I dont want to look for someone, or something, whom/where I can escape to, i want to be free

    Anyone had the same experience like above, when he/she got distanced from everybody and everything?

  4. I crave solitude more than anything and the world beats a path to my door. Go figure. I would also choose cats as company over humans, they're more intelligent and less intrusive.

  5. I think this is the poem I've listened the most to, it's just so peaceful and beautiful. I truly love it! It was a perspective of alone I had never thought of before and I was so so scared of loneliness then, but now, I think I start to understand, how alone can be something beautiful.
    It opened my eyes to a world of less anxiety. Thank you so much for that. <3
    I been listening to it since at least 2014 and it just takes my breath away every time!

  6. And fascinating that there are over 2K dislikes! Maybe many of them had their natural self-love so shattered by put-downs, that the idea of self-love is just too painful to entertain.

  7. I express my thanks for this video to Ms. Andrea and Ms Tanya, I continue to share this brief movie to inform other individuals of the good benefits of enjoying solitude and to not view your position as alone.

  8. I really enjoy being alone. I love other people but i truly madly deeply do love being alone. I love this video. Im working on being ok being alone even while i am in a room full of people. I like being inside myself. This reminds me that its ok to want what I want.

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