I’m really beginning to appreciate loneliness.
I spent my birthday alone this year. This may trigger a response of sadness or pity, but please don’t feel sorry for me. If anything, it was much needed.
I finally found time to:
There is a certain magical healing quality to being alone after a long week of noisy activity and obligations. It’s a time to reflect inwardly and outwardly without judgment or interference. I start appreciating the little things that I normally wouldn’t have even noticed…
The sounds of:
A gentle breeze rustling through a palm tree.
A train traveling in the distance.
I was raised in a “village.” Not literally, but the kind where there were a lot of people with a lot of varying opinions on what I should or shouldn’t do, who I should or shouldn’t be. I understand that I was incredibly privileged and blessed to be in the position that I was born into, but nevertheless I grew weary of it. A life of people drawing maps for me in order to avoid hardships and pitfalls before I even learned how to read a map was no way to live at all. No matter how good the intentions were, I ultimately wanted to be the writer of my own narrative.
2016 has been a year of discovering what I was made of through isolation. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting some of the most vibrant cities in America and forged a number of great friendships in the process, but I also had the satisfaction of peeling back the layers of my own complex personality and growing astronomically more confident in expressing my voice in the most unapologetic and authentic fashion. In my travels: I walked for miles upon miles trying to navigate my way through huge metropolitan cities, I lost my bags and had to spend the night on the cold floor of a strange airport, and I had to shovel my rental car out of four feet of snow in the middle of a sleepy small town so I wouldn’t be trapped. These experiences might sound nightmarish to some, but they were transformative for a naïve, small town kid like me who used to always play it safe.
Sometimes, we just need to get lost. How do we unearth our potential and cultivate our resilience without ever experiencing some sort of discomfort? On top of that, we need that necessary “me” time to step back, assess, and analyze what we’ve been doing right, what we can improve on, and where do we want to go next?
Whenever I feel exhausted with having to put up a front in social situations, I retreat back to a quiet space where I can decompress without feeling like I need to wear a mask of pretense to impress strangers. Being lonely used to be awful. It exposed all of my insecurities. It took a long time for me to be okay with the skin I was in. I go out to movies, dinners, and coffee shops all of the time now just to be alone. The busier and busier my life gets, the more I crave times of solitude. As they say, “there’s solace in solitude.”