Reconnecting with the tranquillity of solitude
Solitude creates stillness. Stillness is a physical manifestation of tranquillity and tranquillity itself is the essence of peace.
One of the ways I can tell I’m in my peak depressed era is when my own company starts to terrify me.
As an introvert who moonlights as an ambivert, I recharge my social battery by pulling myself away from the crowd to sit with and converse with myself. It is in those moments of solitude that my most brilliant ideas and my most fearsome demons congregate in my mind.
I used to seek out solitude. I used to be deliberate about making time each day to chill with my oldest friend and foe––myself. In those moments, I could just sit and stare into space while recounting and reflecting on experiences from the day; or I could be ranting to myself about people and events that triggered me.
I was alone, but I wasn’t lonely. Not in the slightest. I could sit with myself for hours, sifting through my mental catalogue of thoughts, memories, ideas, and feelings. Left with nothing else but my mind to entertain me, I had to confront myself head-on.
But for the past year, I couldn’t. I constantly surrounded myself with some really phenomenal people to keep my mind busy enough to not need to turn inward. It was giving ‘big gay sad’. I’d let myself get so caught up in the flurry of work and life events that I forgot to make time for myself.
I’d inadvertently divorced myself from the solitude that nourished me. Now, I'm working on making sure that never happens again.
I’ve spent the past four days in Kigali. Well, more accurately, I’ve spent the past four days holed up in my apartment in Kigali. At first it was cos I was having my familiar bouts of migraines, but then I slowly realised that I was choosing to stay indoors with myself.
I'd missed myself.
I'd missed being enveloped by silence so loud that I could almost hear the air. I'd missed being so immersed in my own thoughts that everything else going on outside bored me. I'd missed the tranquility of my own company.
In a distracted world that's constantly abuzz, the people who will win are those able to create moments of stillness to ponder, wonder, and imagine. It’s in those quiet, alone moments that we discover and commune with our most authentic selves. The self that only emerges when no one is watching.
Solitude can be scary. But, without it, we'll never really get to know who we are. We set ourselves up to become friends with the world, but strangers to our selves.
Solitude creates stillness. Stillness is a physical manifestation of tranquillity and tranquillity itself is the essence of peace. Consequently, if you don't know solitude, it'll be impossible to know what real peace feels like.
Holed up alone with myself these past few days, I've reconnected with lost hobbies like reading and crocheting.
Look, I made a cute bag!
I'd forgotten just how much these activities helped me stay sane back in high school, when I was confronting one of the hardest periods of my life.
I'm reconnecting all of that by spending more time with myself the next few weeks and I'm so excited to see how it goes.
Talk to me
What is your favourite thing to do when you spend time with yourself?
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