Solitude: the state less explored

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Usually when someone asks who we are, we start by which city we come from or which organisation we have worked in and to a certain extent if we have to answer the question in the context of work life, we find it more easy to answer. It is not very difficult to reiterate the list of school, college and organisations you have been a part of. But, when this question is asked on a more individual or personal level, we either fail to articulate our answers well or suddenly realise that we do not know ourselves well enough to answer that. Knowing yourself does not mean, what career you want or which city you want to live in, but more about your own self, about the kind of person you are. This is a result of constantly aspiring to reach stereotyped goals and prioritising that aspect over your individualism.

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Stereotyping, is in a way becoming the force which just feeds the concept of a mob mentality which is extremely short lived and chaotic. We want to do well in life by running after high end corporate jobs, just because it will secure a better financial stature. How many of you have really just taken the time off from your family and friends and gone for a trip or to work in some distant part of the world, and then discovered your self, your likes and dislikes, your sense of achievement? Not many I am guessing. At times even after realising that our sense of success is different than the “trending careers” we chose to ignore it.  It is sad that in a country like India, the very reason the number of Engineers are on the rise is to a great extent attributed to family pressure. We read about the student suicides in the newspapers because they reach a level of frustration and fail to keep up with the competition. Why was that level of frustration even allowed in the first place? The funny thing is that we strive to get the perfect job even before realising that the perfect job is not making you happy.

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It is a fact undermined by everyone, that spending time doing your own things and taking time out for yourself is essential. It keeps us on track, keeps us mentally satisfied, kills stress and by the end of it we learn a lot about what we enjoy and what we like and want. If you spend time alone your level of focus enhances, your brain gets the required time to unwind and reboot, you can think deeply and figure out how to get rid off your problems or issues at hand. This is the time when you are and your thoughts get the required rest according to psychology. It is also the time for self revelation.

Self revelation is a necessity to live your life happily on your own terms. Stop trying to run after an MBA if you are not sure about it. There are too many reasons for us to be unhappy in life, and if you want a better life for yourself, then do what you want to. Taking “me time” also helps your relationships, since you are not always stressed out like you used to be. It makes you a new person, the fun and happy one you used to be. Do not let life get to you, because it always keeps eating away a bit of our day with stress and anxiety.

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Losing our talents is another side effect of stereotyping, since it chalks out a very rigid ten year plan, which we just strive to follow. Usually this rigorous plan does not include any time periods for our musings or talents. And this way many of us even after achieving all that we ever wanted to remain frustrated and stressed which in turn ruins our life and relationships with our loved ones. So it is perfectly normal to deviate from the set course if it does not suit your values and beliefs. If painting is what makes you happy, then paint. It might not help you earn pots of cash but it will surely bring you the peace of mind and satisfaction that you desire so deeply, which is becoming negligible in the present society. And irrespective of whatever your guidance counsellor or your parents say, you know deep down if they are truly happy with their own lot.

So, take a break. Sit down and wonder about who you truly are. Why you want the things you want? Is there a personal reason behind it or just a lucrative career path to follow. Just because you friends are going clubbing does not mean you have to go or even have to like it. You are different, you are unique. So find yourself when you are alone. Solitude does not necessarily mean loneliness, it is actually the most peaceful time you will get to do your own thing, listen to your music, read your books or write poetry. Solitude leads to the path of self realisation. So embrace it.