Tag Archives: solitude

I Feel You

“Don’t you feel lonely? I see that you always eat out alone, watch movies alone, drink in cafes and read books in libraries alone. I always see you isolating yourself in a room with your phone, alone. Doesn’t it make you sad? Lonely?”

“Loneliness doesn’t work that way for me. The reason why I’m always alone is that I don’t want to be lonely. To be with myself is appreciating my own presence, especially when others couldn’t. You see, for me, being surrounded by people but still feeling alone— that’s lonely. Having a group to go out with but not feeling like you belong— that’s lonely. I’d rather be with myself and be alone, and no— that doesn’t make me lonely. Being with myself means I don’t have to fight for attention. Being with myself means that I don’t have to pretend that I’m a different person.”

~ thalia b.

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My imagination functions much better when I don’t have to speak to people

I’m someone who wouldn’t mind spending all day alone.
Only one thing would make me feel alone.
Being with people I don’t feel myself with, being at places that don’t match my soul.
Being silent when I want to talk the most.
Being lonely isn’t sitting all by myself,
It’s being confined in an atmosphere that doesn’t make me feel real.

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Gossip Dies In The Ears Of The Wise

If this wisdom is even remotely true then the media will die overnight. They will go out of business in no time. And since it’s thriving more than ever, the only conclusion I could come up with is the lack of wise people on earth. Or so it seems. How could we otherwise explain fake news and social media success? How about reality shows and gossip magazines? How about our own neighborhood and neighbors?

I grew up in a place where other people know your own business better than you yourself and they are expert on what you should do and not do and they are more effective guard dog than CCTV and better writers and scenarists than those famous authors. They already wrote your day before you even wake up. Without your knowledge, you could get pregnant during the course of the day and give birth in the afternoon or have a miscarriage without you even knowing it. They even have detailed information on your comings and goings abroad even though they never been anywhere outside their little village. Their imaginations are limitless and their conviction fierce. And there is nothing you can do.

That is probably the only thing I didn’t miss from my country of birth, the isolated way people think and their small town narrow-minded ideas. And one of the few things I am thankful for living abroad. Here, they don’t mind you most of the time. They see you, make a fixed conclusion about you and they leave you pretty much alone. Especially in the city or in the suburb where people don’t even know their neighbors. I like the idea of being lost in anonymity. It’s peaceful that way. I don’t crave community spirit and I don’t want to be part of it. I have nothing to give in give and take process which all relationships have in common. And they have nothing to give that I’m remotely interested in. So, I keep away from clubs of any sort.

I don’t buy glossy gossip magazines either. They are not my thing. But I love to watch programs where there are human interactions. I find it educational.

How about you? Do you gossip? Take part in it? Loath love it? Or you are totally indifferent?

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Solitude Within

Once I had started my solitude, I realized anew that it was easy for me to become accustomed to this state and that the most effortless existence for me was in fact in one in which I was not obliged to speak to anyone. My fretful attitude to life left me. Each dead day had its charm. —Yukio Mishima

It’s true, once you get used to being alone it is very hard to be among people again.

I have no problem with making contacts and to carry out a conversation, no, never that for since childhood it seems I have the gift of gab (and so they say) but my problem with socializing is the amount of time it needs for me to recover after that. I need at least two weeks to recuperate.

Lately, being in the middle of a crowd in an open space bothers me. People, even strangers make me nervous I cannot enjoy what there is to enjoy, let it be music, sights, or day to day life like going to the market. When there is a crowd, I am sure to avoid it. The constant movements and chatters confuse my brain and I feel that they are constantly in my way blocking my progress and disturbing my zen.

For those who are extroverts perhaps it is difficult to understand my predicament but believe you me, nothing can make me unhinged faster than a crowd.

I just came back from vacation and even there where it supposed to be there is an easy going vibe and relax atmosphere yet I still sought solitude. When the beach is crowded, I head back to the hotel and I swim in the pool early when other guests are not yet awake and have their breakfast. I cannot imagine myself immersed in stagnant water where there are a lot of unwashed bodies there with me. That’s why I prefer a shower to a bath. I’m keen on personal hygiene.

At home I detest visitors. I even detest a visit from family members. Nothing personal. I just feel that they disturb the rhythm of my day to day existence. Not that I have a fixed schedule or something, it’s just that I want to follow my feelings going about my day, doing what I want when I want it on my own phase. When someone is there, you have to consider and accommodate their wants and needs especially if you’re the host and it takes too much energy synchronizing your rhythm with others. That’s why I never go out with friends. I rather do things on my own. Simpler that way.

What about you? Are you sociable? Do you crave company? How about me-time? What is your view on this?

If you have a moment,  do share with us your thoughts.

See you next time.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“I feel too much. That’s what’s going on.’ ‘Do you think one can feel too much? Or just feel in the wrong ways?’ ‘My insides don’t match up with my outsides.’ ‘Do anyone’s insides and outsides match up?’ ‘I don’t know. I’m only me.’ ‘Maybe that’s what a person’s personality is: the difference between the inside and outside.’ ‘But it’s worse for me.’ ‘I wonder if everyone thinks it’s worse for him.’ ‘Probably. But it really is worse for me.”

― Jonathan Safran Foer

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The Morning After I Killed Myself

I woke up.

I made myself breakfast in bed. I added salt and pepper to my eggs and used my toast for a cheese and bacon sandwich. I squeezed a grapefruit into a juice glass. I scraped the ashes from the frying pan and rinsed the butter off the counter. I washed the dishes and folded the towels.

The morning after I killed myself, I fell in love. Not with the boy down the street or the middle school principal. Not with the everyday jogger or the grocer who always left the avocados out of the bag. I fell in love with my mother and the way she sat on the floor of my room holding each rock from my collection in her palms until they grew dark with sweat. I fell in love with my father down at the river as he placed my note into a bottle and sent it into the current. With my brother who once believed in unicorns but who now sat in his desk at school trying desperately to believe I still existed.

The morning after I killed myself, I walked the dog. I watched the way her tail twitched when a bird flew by or how her pace quickened at the sight of a cat. I saw the empty space in her eyes when she reached a stick and turned around to greet me so we could play catch but saw nothing but sky in my place. I stood by as strangers stroked her muzzle and she wilted beneath their touch like she did once for mine.

The morning after I killed myself, I went back to the neighbors’ yard where I left my footprints in concrete as a two-year-old and examined how they were already fading. I picked a few daylilies and pulled a few weeds and watched the elderly woman through her window as she read the paper with the news of my death. I saw her husband spit tobacco into the kitchen sink and bring her her daily medication.

The morning after I killed myself, I watched the sun come up. Each orange tree opened like a hand and the kid down the street pointed out a single red cloud to his mother.

The morning after I killed myself, I went back to that body in the morgue and tried to talk some sense into her. I told her about the avocados and the stepping stones, the river, and her parents. I told her about the sunsets and the dog and the beach.

The morning after I killed myself, I tried to unkill myself, but couldn’t finish what I started.

—Meggie Royer

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And Yet

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.

— Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)

And yet people seem to always know you. In fact, in places where people have ample times in their hands, they seem to know more about your life than you do. They create far-fetched stories about faraway places they never been and put you in the middle of their fantasy. The funny thing is others tend to believe them. Great minds think alike indeed.

Reminds me of something I’ve read somewhere that goes like this:

Gossip can have devastating consequences. We tend to have a strong negativity bias: Almost all of us pay more attention to negative information than we do to positive information. Think about the last time you posted something to Facebook, for example, and got a string of enthusiastic comments followed by a single, stinging rebuke. Which comment did you focus on?

It’s true, isn’t it?

We always tend to see the single black dot on a paper and focus on it but we forget the vast whiteness of the paper surrounding the black spot.

People love to believe fat juicy lies than the simple truth especially if it is about someone they are secretly jealous of or envious of the life that someone is leading. They will gladly swallow anything that can damage their perfect perception of you and your life. It makes them feel better about themselves. Justifying somehow their insecurities and personal issues. Often than not those sort of people will happily feed the fire till there is nothing left anymore of whatever the truth might have been. I have fallen victim of this sort of gossips so many times I lost count already the number of times people have spin gory tales about me. Mind you, my unconventional behavior and nonchalant attitude towards rumors didn’t help much with their already wrong impression of me and once upon a time I couldn’t care less.

They can say whatever they want as long as it doesn’t interfere with my agenda. But you cannot be in the middle of someone’s concept and be invisible. Sooner or later hell will break loose and often times the leading character is the only casualty because it is easier to hit a single target than multiple ones. Safety by numbers and the majority always win.  Fortunately, their movies are not my reality. Unfortunately, like one of those sci-fi movies, when you get hurt or die in virtual reality you die in real life too, the consequences can travel through time and dimensions and even if you don’t die the scars are deep it shows.

You know what they say:

It’s difficult to be the subject of a negative rumor, particularly one that has no basis in reality.

And even if:

You can’t always control what other people say about you, but you can control how you respond—and you can be resilient…

You are only human. You are not invincible. Everybody has limits and sooner or later you will reach your saturation point. And once you’re there you can only do a couple of things:

Wage a war against those who are set to harm you  (which in Dutch is equivalent to “dweilen met de kraan open.” Literally translated: Mopping the floor with the tap wide open meaning: ‘Bailing out a sinking ship.’)

Change your ways and conform. (Yeah, follow the heard and be a copy of the majority. Die before you’re dead.)

Or be a Hermit like me.

Which one it is?

Make your choice and let me know.

 

Depression

In a strange way, I had fallen in love with my depression. I loved it because it was all I had. I thought depression was the part of my character that made me worthwhile. I thought so little of myself, felt that I had such scant offerings to give to the world, that the one thing that justified my existence at all was my pain.

— Elizabeth Wurtze

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Another Milestone

I realized something the other day while I was looking at my growing collection of succulents; I’m enjoying being on my own.

I know I told you already that I am a loner and prefer solitude than being in a crowd but there is some difference; before, I crave to be among people I have nothing to do with. I love to meet new acquaintances – preferably in far away places so I can run away if it becomes too much and strangers become too close – I love talking to random people, exchanging ideas and watching them doing their things as long as they don’t follow me home and insist to be my friends. Before, I resented being isolated. I was constantly homesick. I wanted to experience again the life I had before; the fun, the chase, the adventures, the thrill of discovering new people, new places and new things. I hated being settled, peaceful, grounded and (more or less) secure. To me it was boring, unimaginative, dead.

I still enjoy meeting people and going places and discovering new things but it is not a must anymore. At the end of the day, I am happy to be home. In fact, lately, while exploring new frontiers, at the back of my mind, I can’t wait to go home. I can’t wait till I am again inside my four walls where I can be alone and peaceful and safe. Safe from expectations, safe from demands, away from the prying eyes and prejudiced judgmental people. I can be whoever I want to be no one will force me.

Before, I charge my battery somewhere, the more peculiar, weird, bizarre, the better. These days home is where I recuperate and I get my fix from peace and quiet and safety my place offers. I don’t want complicated situations anymore. No more dramas, no more unnecessary commitments, no more pretending, no more catering to what society expects.

Today I realized another thing: I don’t have the urge anymore to control things. 

Before, I want everything the way it supposed to be, in my head. I got into a panic when things are not in their proper place and things don’t happen the way I expect and my weight is not 46 kilos. The moment the scale shows one or two gram more I will get so nervous I will go into crash diet and see to it that my weight is back on track within three weeks.

Now, I am 10 kilos heavier and have love handles all over the place but I can stand it. I don’t get agitated anymore when there is a glass on the kitchen counter or a cup somewhere in the living room and there are clothes that have to be ironed in bed. Mind you the glasses and cups and clothes will not be there for long, but they can stay there for a few hours till I find the time and urge to remove them. I can go out now without straightening everything till my house is picture perfect. In short, I’m learning to let go.

I’m learning to let go of my paranoia as well. I can stand open windows now, doors too. Dark days don’t make me think of everything evil and I can take a bath now when I’m home alone and even dare to go into my dressing without locking anything that could be locked. The knife I still keep but I forget it’s there sometimes. I take it as a positive sign and continuing improvement of my mental health.

I don’t know if I’m really getting better or would really get better or I just resigned to my situation. Could be also that I’m just getting old and tired and lost my appetite for anything that rock my already shaky constitution and learning the value of restful and quiet uncomplicated existence.

Who knows…

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Somewhere In Between

I sit beside the fire and think 
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring 
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet 
And voices at the door. 

― J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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