People think of loneliness as evil, a bad thing to have, a feeling to avoid. I never really understood why. I love being alone. It’s the one thing I’d do rather than hanging out with people.
I love the freedom I experience when I’m alone. I’m free to explore myself and observe my thoughts. I can amaze at how trains of thoughts form and ponder at my perspectives about the world around me. Solitude is an amazing gift, though most of us try to keep it away. And we shouldn’t.
This is what filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky had to say about being alone:
People who grow bored in their own company seem to me in danger.
Maybe it’s because I’ve surrounded myself with the wrong people, but here’s what I’ve noticed. Nobody I know cherishes the idea of being alone and spending some time with themselves. Sometimes, I find myself thinking that there are certain advantages to not having friends at all. You can be alone most of the time, just you and your thoughts. Nothing else matters, right? Except maybe music.
The luckiest man is one who is most comfortable when he is all alone. With no one about, the problems you face grow many times over. But that gives you a chance to grow larger than ever. Live your life alone. It’s your life and there’s no need to share every moment of it with the people you know.
People today, celebrate the concept of individualism and personal freedom, yet the same people shy away from being alone. The society we live in today is terrified of solitude. Maybe it’s the fear of not finding anything worthwhile deep inside. Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown. Everyone sees solitude as being “anti-social”, when in fact, it’s far from it.
While we’re still on this topic, let’s talk about boredom. We are conditioned to think of boredom just as we think of solitude: they’re all bad. But as someone who is easily bored, all the time, I can attest to how good it is to have a bit of sensory downtime. Think about it, sitting alone with nothing to do, just recounting past memories and replaying them in your mind.
In our age, where we worship productivity with almost fetishistic reverence, doing nothing is almost a mortal sin. After all, Bertrand Russell had this to say about boredom and how people view it:
We are less bored than our ancestors were, but we are more afraid of boredom. We have come to know, or rather to believe, that boredom is not part of the natural lot of man, but can be avoided by a sufficiently vigorous pursuit of excitement.
It’s only when we are alone, truly alone, that we can think and it’s only when we are bored that our creative juices get flowing. Sometimes, the best ideas come from the most dreadful of times. Our world and our notions and customs have changed radically over the last century and more so, in the last couple of decades. What we seem to have forgotten along the way is how it all began in the first place.
We’re losing parts of ourselves, not because technology and our culture is destroying them, but because we’re neglecting them. We neglected the stars and now, the night skies are no longer starry. We wrote off our need for solitude and wishful day-dreaming, ignited our almost religious devotion to constant connectivity and now find it too difficult to handle all of it.
Maybe I’m getting carried away by all the negativity. Maybe my brain has had enough of all the “social connections” it’s made throughout the years. Whatever it is, being alone and enjoying your quiet company is all that matters in the end. And though I may appear to be anti-social, the truth of the matter is that I personally prefer exploring my own thoughts to exploring the intricacies of societal acquaintances.