Transforming Loneliness into a Source of Creativity
Many people are shocked when I tell them I am actually not very independent. I have spent the last 7 years of my life living all across the globe usually by myself on these new adventures and there are two stark realities that I must confess. 1. I am not very independent and usually prefer to rely on others. 2. I hate change.
I’m sure you understand what an oxymoron that is. Someone who hates being alone and hates change, changes country every one or 2 years and lives by herself. I do it anyway because for me the only thing I regret in life are the things I was too scared to try.
Nevertheless, sometimes I get lonely. Honestly, props to all of my amazing friends who did an entire bachelors degree or masters degree in a foreign country because it really is hard. They made it look so easy and I don’t think I understood at the time just how much they went through.
It is hard to make meaningful bounds during postgraduate education. I’ll admit, when I graduated from my bachelors I too was convinced I had reached my friends quota. That I couldn’t possibly have space for anymore friendships. My mind was changed completely however. I went to Taipei and embarked on a journey so intense and wonderful that it will stay with me for the rest of my life. After that I craved human connections more than ever. Korea was easy for me. I got to live in the same country as some of my oldest friends with whom I shared many precious memories.
I know being alone isn’t the end of the world. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Learning to be by ourselves is one of those necessary tools in life for growth. I’ve been working on it for a long time but have never been able to fully grasp the essence of what it means to be alone and not lonely.
I have quite unique hobbies. I love reading and travelling of course, but I also like watching foreign and or independent movies, going to see contemporary art exhibitions and drinking cider outside. (I also absolutely adore archery, and trying out newer more outlandish hobbies). Not many people I know are into the same things as me so I often find myself sitting alone at home trying to rev myself up to attend a function or to get on a train to another city by myself. But what if we harness this energy? We should turn these feelings into quiet moments of self reflection.
Once a friend of mine who is an artist told me that he creates because for him its the only thing that keeps him sane. His creative outlet helps him to make sense of what goes on in his mind. Personally, I think we should all take this approach, switch off your phone, pull up a typewriter (or laptop I suppose), get a pen and paper and pour your soul out onto it. Get some pencils or paint and draw your feelings. Get your camera and take some photos. Whatever your creative outlet may be, through the lens of solitude who knows what kinds of masterpieces you may create.