A friend told me that being on her own really freaks her out, that she has a fear of being abandoned. “It’s only bad if you’re forced to be on your own”, I said, “but there’s another kind of solitude, when you do it of your own free will”. It’s healthy to make a conscious decision to stop and just tread water for a while, get back to being yourself, rethink things. You can only do that if you’re on your own. Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer once said that solitude is the empire of conscience. It’s worth remembering that the greatest geniuses in history did their best work when they were alone.