There’s Joy In Solitude

I am an only child. Yes, I am a bit spoiled ( who isn’t after all?). And no, I am not antisocial. Throughout my life, people have called out on my ability to be alone. Let’s say that after countless hours spent at my grandparent’s backyard playing by myself, I learned a concept that not many are accustomed to: enjoying solitude.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines solitude as “a state or situation in which you are alone usually because you want to be”. In response, a loner is “a person who is often alone or who likes to be alone”. I became comfortable with the idea of both terms early in life, simply as means of survival. Yes, I had friends and cousins to play with, but most of the time I was alone and it was great.

As human beings, we are defined by the group we surround ourselves with, whether it is our families or friends. A group is essential to a human’s development psychologically and emotionally because it provides a sense of belonging outside our inner conscience. But sometimes, especially in our postmodern times, we become too accustomed to this need, and, in consequence, forgetting our necessity to belong to ourselves.

As a child, I loved my moments of solitude. The lack of physical presence provided means for imaginary intensification and creativity. It required much more effort to have fun by myself, which is how I discovered what actually makes me happy, instead of conforming to other people’s ideas of entertainment. I could sit for hours watching the trees devouring a jar of Nutella. There was no one there to tell me it was wrong or weird.

Now, I honestly like being alone, as lame as that sounds. Friendships have become an added bonus and not the sole key of human interaction. Fewer friends makes for more profound relationships and, therefore, deeper connections.

There is no greater pleasure than enjoying the freedom solitude brings. You no longer depend on others to perform the activities you enjoy. Needless to say, the hours spent talking to yourself are invaluable to understanding who you are, what you want and where you want to go. After all, our own company is the only guaranteed relationship we have in life.

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