Stop the noise. Sometimes you just need to stop the noise.
I am an introvert. No, it does not mean that I hate social events. Yes, it does mean that even though I am pretty comfortable with my group of 4-5 friends, I also crave having my own space where I’m free to roam around my own mind. Also, this isn’t to say that extroverts, ambiverts or any variation of these don’t seek out solitude as well or that they experience it in this particular way. I speak only from what I know.
We live in a hectic, noisy and crowded world; that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Society thrives on busy, bustling and very social situations. I, myself, enjoy it at times. When I’m with my, admittedly small, group of friends or family, we do go to parties and concerts, and I enjoy it.
It’s not always what I want, though, and it’s definitely not what I need, most of the time.
Solitude is a very misunderstood term, I find. First of all, it can be very easily confused with loneliness. They aren’t the same thing. Yes, a person can seek out solitude when they are in a bad place or a depressive state, which isn’t always the best form of action. However, solitude more often proves to be a productive, thought-inducing and peaceful place; a space to recharge and process thoughts and feelings.
Solitude doesn’t equate to isolation, either. When I’m in need of solitude it doesn’t mean that I want to shun my friends or family. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care for them or that I wouldn’t mind if I realised, after coming out of my rabbit hole, that they aren’t there anymore. The constant flow of messages and noise in day to day life sometimes just proves to be a bit draining.
It’s not that I’m being “difficult” or “rude” when I decline a social invitation or sit apart from everyone else in an incessantly active and loud situation. Sometimes, I just need to be alone for a while, remove all expectations from my surroundings and be in my own company, in order to feel myself again. I’m not lonely nor do I mean to be unaccommodating, it’s just genuinely a form of enjoyment for myself.
So what does solitude look like? It looks like a person, one individual, in a calm and quiet space. Sometimes that place can be my bedroom, door closed and lights dimmed. It can also be outside, sitting under a tree or on a swing set. It even takes the form of jogging, sometimes, with only my music and thoughts to contemplate. Sometimes I just lay down and stare at the ceiling, allowing my thoughts to take over. Other times I watch a movie or a YouTube video, read a book or listen to music.
Either way, it entails doing something or even nothing, alone. There’s no need to keep up conversation with anyone else but myself and that presents no difficulty, whatsoever. In those moments, I simply exist without worrying about appearances or obligations.
I truly believe that anyone who gives it a try would benefit from it. It is a therapeutic and rejuvenating experience. For someone who isn’t used to it, I can see how it may feel awkward, forced or daunting as it may conjure up thoughts that they would rather not bring to the surface and emotions that they may want to keep buried; but that’s the beauty of it.
Through solitude I allow myself to wonder and contemplate, dig and search, uncover and make peace, all on my own. I work on the relationship I have with myself, me and me, silent and aimless, just being.