Sometimes there is nothing else that revives my soul like solitude. To have the gift of keeping my mouth shut and my thoughts private for an evening, a day, a weekend. This may sound introverted, and in some respects I suppose it could be interpreted in this manner, but in my eyes it is necessary for healing, vision, and a healthy heart.
I stare into crowds of people; I am a self-created anthropologist. I watch groups of people, a group of ladies, two gentlemen laughing, a couple holding hands. This too is part of human nature and it is beautiful. What I don’t understand is those personalities that cannot stand to be alone in any capacity. After all, if you cannot stand being alone with your thoughts and your being, how can you expect it to be healthy for anyone else to be alone with you? I long for a companion, I’m not a hermit, but I feel certain that I will press on if I have to be alone for a bit longer.
I am reflecting on this as I have spent my past few weekends around people. The holidays are fun, but crowded. I could almost promise that I go days without having a thought that I can claim my own. Thanksgiving was with my sweet family, Christmas was a hustle of wrapping paper, ribbons, and scents of heavenly magnitude. New Years Eve, a holiday I am not particularly fond of due to awkward forced intimacy, was spent at a friends bar where he was working and I was repeatedly approached by a bizarre subset of the male gender, groped repetitively despite my attempts at disengaging in social conduct, and finally my exit. So many people and obligations feels like being trapped to the may pole as people run around me strapping me down with the colorful ribbons. I could suffocate.
Returning home to my domain was like finally getting to breathe fresh air. My shoulders relaxed, my senses calmed, my stress melted away nearly on an instant. I am home. I am alone. Despite it all I am still me… and sometimes it feels so good to know that I will always have that.
Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with good grace all that you are not. (Henry Frederick Emile)
‘Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone, and the only one who seeks out another. His nature -if that word can be used in reference to man, who has ‘invented’ himself by saying ‘no’ to nature- consists in his longing to realize himself in another. Man is nostalgia and a search for communion. Therefore, when he is aware of himself he is aware of his lack of another, that is, of his solitude.’ (translation from “El laberinto de la soledad”, by Octavio Paz)