I enjoy company, but I need time alone. As an introvert, silence and solitude are my close confidantes. If I couldn’t come home after a day of being assaulted by unwanted sounds and distractions, close the door to my apartment, and hear nothing (or what qualifies for nothing in this city), I wouldn’t be able to function.
I need time and space in my day that is free from interruptions—time when no one and nothing is demanding my attention. I need silence and solitude to wade into myself and discover the full depth of my thoughts and feelings. Noise keeps my thinking shallow. Distractions keep me at the surface of myself. To go deeper—to really dive into thought or fully submerge myself in an idea, I need a modicum of silence. And the harder I need to think, the quieter I need it to be. I’m not the type of person who can concentrate on serious work in front of the TV.
For me, silence is precious. I treasure it. Solitude is like a light that helps me to see myself. It illuminates my shadows. I bask in it. Through solitude, I am replenished. I can find thoughts I’ve lost track of. I can be a good friend to myself by paying attention to my inner world.
In silence, I can shake off the burdens of the day. Silence makes room for me to lay down and inspect whatever worries or fears I’ve been carrying with me. In silence and solitude I can hear my quietest inner voice—the one deep within that knows me best—the one that gets muted or ignored when life gets loud or I get stressed.
Time alone helps me to slow down. I become less apt to rush by and miss life’s sweet-smelling roses. Time to myself makes me a better friend. If I haven’t had a sufficient dose of solitude, it’s harder for me to listen to you.
Silence and solitude guide me. They are the paths by which I enter into my deepest self-knowledge. I can be still. I can let go of the weights and worries of the world. I can close my eyes, take a deep breath, relax, and rest within myself.