Being alone and enjoying it

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I can’t speak for everyone, but I find that there is beauty in solitude. I attribute this to my introversion, but over the years, I’ve found myself to enjoy being alone more and more.

A couple of years ago, being alone was something I struggled with– I always felt the need to be with someone, and I mean this in the literal sense. I always preferred to be flanked by at least one human being; and it did not matter if he or she was a friend or a family member. Being alone used to affect my mood in the most negative way possible, and I would feel awkward without anyone by my side. It was especially difficult for me to be alone because I still live at home, and there would always be someone to keep me company.

At the end of 2014, I penned my list of resolutions for the following year as usual, and I listed “learn to be alone and like it” as one of them. I wanted to be self-reliant, and I wanted to achieve that by year’s end. For one, it was meant to be practice for when I venture out into the real world without parental supervision. I also wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn the value of independence.

It began as a gradual change. I first started by running errands alone, and then to taking long drives at night just to clear my head. I went on a solo vacation to Shanghai, China in April, where I took several flights alone, and maneuvered around Pu Dong Airport by myself with little to no knowledge of Mandarin. It also helped that my family took several vacations without me in 2015 (it’s really not as bad as it sounds), and I had to do everything on my own– especially make and have meals alone.

By the time the year came to a close, I found that I was comfortable with the silence that comes with being alone. The beauty of being by yourself is that although there can be noise in your surroundings, there is silence in that noise. With this silence came a lot of self-reflection, and much of the inspiration behind my most popular blog posts came from being alone.

Being alone has taught me to be more observant, although I get lost in my own thoughts more often than not. However, there is tranquility in watching other people; their behaviour, interactions and their mannerisms. The silence, then, becomes something I enjoy.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I have amounted to becoming a hermit. From time to time, I enjoy the company of groups of people, but it is now rare that I do. I have just learnt to appreciate being by myself, and learning a lot out of it.

I closed 2015 off with my bedroom curtains drawn and lights dimmed– all while watching the display of fireworks in utter silence. It was at that moment that I realized; there is an incomprehensible beauty in solitude. You will learn that the world has so much to offer you– only if you’re willing to be still and enjoy the silence.

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