Photo by Brandon Sapp featuring Drumaq for Mad Sounds Magazine Issue 20
I was always that weird, shy kid who would sit in the corner and never speak. I knew how to hold a conversation, but I just didn’t want to. My mind was always active and my imagination kept me entertained. Inside my head was my favorite place to be and I had no desire for anyone to ruin my peace.
If I ever mention that to someone now they always laugh. The shy kid has gone and been replaced by an outgoing personality that really needs to learn how to use a filter. I love being social and thrive off of meeting as many people and making as many new experiences as possible. I’m always busy and I’m always having fun. I’m happy that shy kid has adjusted socially because I’ve had some amazing experiences because of it. With that being said, I miss the peacefulness in the head of that kid.
When was the last time you honestly just sat by yourself without doing anything and without any distractions? Prior to a few weeks ago, I’d have to say it’s been at least four years for me. During those four years, any opportunity for solitude has been overwhelmed by schoolwork, friends, work, my phone, and Netflix.
A couple weeks ago I wanted to try putting my phone in a drawer when I head to bed because I heard it would help me sleep a little better. What I quickly realized upon trying it was I have completely forgotten how to be alone. I need my distractions. I had figured out how to have a great time and be productive, but I had absolutely no idea what fulfilled me. As soon as I took every distraction out of my life, I realized I had no idea who I was or what I valued as an individual. It was a miserable realization to come to terms with the fact that you’re simply not happy with yourself. My effort to sleep better didn’t work at all. Rather, I got incredibly anxious, felt more emotions than I knew what to do with, and my mind starting racing. I spent the next three hours sweating before finally taking enough melatonin to fall asleep.
A similar thing happened the next night and for the duration of that week. It progressively got a little better until I began to be comfortable with the alone time. By now, I love it. Those fifteen minutes every night have made me realize just how much of myself I’ve been missing out on. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve learned so much about myself and am finding a peace I never had before. I no longer feel an anxiety to make sure every minute of my day is filled or the pressure of making sure I never miss out on a social event. Learning who I am and how to deal with myself has created a contentment I haven’t known in a long time. I feel more inspired, healthy, and whole. I’m actually okay with myself.
I guess what I’m trying to say is sometimes you just need to be alone. It might be terrifying or it might be boring. But I would hate for someone to go through life without ever getting in tune with themselves and realizing fully who they are. Don’t lose yourself in the busyness of life, it’s just not worth it. Take care of yourself and make some time for yourself.