Today my roommate left for four days, so I came home, stripped to my boxers, poured myself a (large) glass of wine and sat down to enjoy my solitude and peace and quiet. I momentarily felt like I should feel guilty for enjoying my personal time ; social norms seem to dictate that it is not acceptable to be alone anymore. Networking websites, dating services, and self-help books on making friends all tell us that we should always be striving to find new social and romantic relationships. But we should keep in mind that everything is good in moderation. Having hundreds of facebook friends and dozens of people you call “real” friends trivializes the idea of friendship. There are only half a dozen people in your life that will be there throughout the duration —
Okay, I’m going off on a tangent (blame that on 3 tall glasses of wine). The point here is that it is in fact acceptable, even adviseable, to be alone every once in a while. I believe that one can never be truly happy until one is comfortable being alone; only after sitting and pondering the thoughts the inevitably swirl about our minds do we know ourselves, and only after that can we form real, meaningful relationships with those around us.
I quote Paul Brunton, a British philosopher who lived in the 20th century:
“Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.”
This quote by the wise Mr. Brunton illustrates my point beautifully. There is nothing wrong with the desire to meet and interact with people but the moment it becomes a dependence, our definitions as individuals begin to dissolve. Constant action and interaction does not give us time to reflect on our thoughts, wonder at the world, or (this is my favourite) enjoy good literature. The society in which we live has produced a generation of hyper-active, reflexive, non-meditative beings who cannot stand doing nothing at any time. It is this non-time, this state of inactivity, however, which yields the most insightful thoughts and ideas.
I’m not sure where I was going with this whole post; I just wanted to share the fact that I think solitude is beautiful and none of us should ever shy away from it. Try it: pick up a copy of Moby Dick (or any other drawn-out yet interesting novel), a nice bottle of wine (or beer or whiskey or single-malt or vodka or wheat-grass shots or whatever you happen to enjoy), turn up the heat (global warming be damned), get cozy, and read!
Just enjoy your own company, for fuck’s sake! I like mine; it’s fun trying to figure out what my own thoughts might mean.
Okay my glass requires a refill; peace out!