The Beauty of Solitude

Brianna - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Solitude is bliss. True, gut-busting, cheek-burning laughter is impossible without good friends, and a life could not be experienced to its fullest without a loving, supportive family; but, solitude is bliss.

I am not a perfectionist, I am not an over-achiever, but I am a doer; my greatest difficulty is simply providing myself with time to breathe. My thoughts consist of an incessant to-do list, never fully completed, forever expanding. The activities I partake in, the things in life that I am most passionate about- theatre and dance, performing and teaching- are characterized by an interconnectedness in which each piece holds equal importance, making petty self-centeredness impossible. A rehearsal that is not attended by all is a rehearsal wasted. Therefore, the only free time I have is the time I am able to squeeze in between homework and dance class. Leisure time, in my life, is a rare commodity. It is precious. I know that I cannot sacrifice the little time I have to physically and psychologically repair myself because it enables me to better handle, well, life. My mind must have the opportunity to be set free from worldly concerns and soar among the beauty of serenity and blitheness. This euphoric state is possible only when the individual has no responsibility to care for other’s needs and desires; it is possible only in solitude. This, I believe.

Life, for most people, is defined by schedules; up at 7:30, lunch at 1:00, home by 4:45, back out by 6:00. But when I am alone, I have the sweet freedom to do whatever I choose. I am afforded the opportunity to be myself in a way that is impossible with even the truest of friends. All inhibitions cease to exist, and I can just…be. I can cry and laugh through the sappiest movie, I can sing and dance about my room like a fool, I can reread and reflect upon the works of Orwell or Salinger, and I don’t have to worry about being annoying or weird or different. Everything I think, everything I do is relevant and it is significant because I think it is. When I am given the opportunity to repair my mind and my body, I am better able to deal with the daily stresses and tribulations that act as parasites in my life. I am a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better teacher, a better student. I am a better person, all because I took a couple hours out of my day to be truly, purely, and wholly selfish.

I believe in solitude. I believe in the revitalizing power of the mind when left to its own devices. I believe in those moments, as rare and as sweet as a love that lasts a lifetime, in which truth of self is possible. I believe my happiest moments, my truest moments, happen in solitude, when time stops, the world shuts down, and my mind and my soul burst with life.