Solitude. This week, I am grateful for solitude. I spent time in the town I grew up in last weekend and went for a run on the beach one morning. Once I finished, I walked out on the break wall, something I haven’t done in ages. Sitting there, I realized that this was probably the first time I have been alone, entirely alone, in years. I spend plenty of time by myself but in Chicago, there’s always someone in the next apartment over, beside me on the sidewalk, hanging out on the lakefront path a few feet away. But here I was on the rocks at the edge of Lake Michigan, not a soul in sight. There was no awareness of what i was doing, no “looking good”, no excessive stimuli. It was just me and the rocks and the sound of water lapping up against the shore. I love my life in Chicago and what I have access to mere feet from my home. But this weekend I realized that there is something to be said for the occasional opportunity to sit with myself in wide open spaces.