How Solitude Taught Me Not To Fear Being Alone

María Victoria Heredia Reyes
María Victoria Heredia Reyes

I did not choose to find solitude, it sought me out, as is the case with so many of us. I grew up  without too many friends, just the occasional boy or girl you are forced to meet because your mom is friends with their mom.

So, I started to develop habits that made me feel less bored while at home, like painting or reading. Also, by sheer accident, I fell in love with writing.

I am 24 years old now, at a crossroads in life when I realized I am not happy with the way I am living my life, slow and unappealing. I am at an age where I should be partying like there is no tomorrow, earning and blowing cash on more parties, drinking, dancing, thinking about starting my own business and of course, finding love.

I tried doing these for a while and now I have severe anxiety and possibly acid reflux. (What, that’s just acidity right?). No, it is not.

I realized how after a year of being in the company of alcohol, cigarettes, junk food and insomnia, I was still unhappy, puffy and just very sad.

I used to paint, photograph, write and laugh. God, I loved laughing.

I did them all alone back when I still wore tiny girl jammies. So now, why am I so scared of being alone?

Is it because I am at the age where everyone feels like they need to be part of a group, always buzzing around each other, making notes on how to keep being in a group, being cool, hip and funny all the time?

Oh God, No.

Our generation needs to love and embrace solitude, being by yourself, without the whole world going “Oh, My God, are you okay?”. I remember some of my most creative thoughts flowing out when I was in the company of my notebook, pen, paints and canvas.

So why don’t we all be alone, together?

My solitude hasn’t been sweet with me. It taught me that crying alone sucks and laughing alone is even worse. But, it taught me how much I needed to laugh by myself and pick myself up every time I cried my eyes to shreds.

Solitude allows you to wear your skin like armor, it allows you to screw up and not have anyone judge you. You prepare a bad dinner, you order takeout. You do not cry or get disgusted at how bad the food tastes. Solitude taught me that. It made me realize I hate cooking, but love trying new things.

Solitude teaches you that your true friends will not mind you being alone with yourself.

Solitude makes you lonely. A lot. But not in a crowd, because for me , that is the worst form of loneliness, being with people with whom you do not share anything. Solitude taught me that there is good loneliness out there too, and it is all yours.

Best of all, solitude makes every group affair more fun, something you look forward to and are a little alien too now, like a foreign film.

Solitude is like the P.E coach you are scared of, but you know they mean well. It toughens you, gives you perspective and best, you become a better version of you and you will learn to love yourself.  Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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