Thriving in Loneliness

It’s no secret that I love being inside, but even I have my limits. At the end of last year, while I was going through a really long and seemingly endless period of unemployment, I thought I had finally reached that limit. I had no reason to leave the house, my friends were all too busy to drag me to pubs, and my money was all but gone, not to mention that the winter was typically freezing here in Toronto so I wasn’t feeling encouraged to leave the comfort of my blankets as long as I had chocolate and water.

The first week of isolation was fun and liberating. I mostly wrote stories and watched movies. Around the seventh week, though, I was losing my mind. There are only so many movies on Netflix and writing had gone from fun to daunting as I found myself uninspired by my routine. What is a person to do in a situation like this? Well, I don’t know what responsible adults are supposed to do, but I sought refuge on YouTube. That’s as good as anything to dull the pain of boredom.

We all have our YouTube poison and that site is an endless source of ways to pass the time without actually having to do anything. There are pets and babies for those of us who are into such cuteness, endless fail videos to entertain our darkest side, reviews that make us feel either vindicated or extremely annoyed, and just about every song ever conceived by humanity. Personally, my drug of choice is nail art tutorials.

Image result for nail art

No one can say that I’m a vain person, but I do enjoy doing my nails. I find it extremely relaxing and, even though it takes work, it soothes my busy brain and it allows me to get creative. If I had all of this free time in my hands, then why not put it to good use and learn to do some nail art? Well, it’s five months later and I’m so down the rabbit hole I don’t think anyone can pull me out. I’ve learned to do gradients, failed at water-marbling repeatedly, and my brand new dotting tools and nail vinyls have just arrived in the mail. Don’t send help. I regret nothing.

Being an introvert has its issues (namely the fear of what’s outside your comfort zone, the fact that the rest of the world seems to be speaking a language you don’t understand, needing privacy to recharge, or the fact that you’re always looking at your watch thinking “Can I leave yet?”) and we navigate through them the best we can. But if there is something that can be said about introverts it’s this: we thrive in loneliness.

Loneliness can be oppressive at times and, more often than not, we’re overwhelmed with guilt for rejoicing in our canceled plans and lack of companionship. Loneliness is not an easy thing to enjoy, but we are slowly mastering it. We know how to turn it around and use it in our favor. From learning a new skill to add to our skill set or freelancing, the possibilities are endless.

Some of us manicure or write stories, while other sew and knit. There are gamers out there, and readers, and movie buffs. Some cook delicious food, bake the most elaborate pastries, or just gorge themselves on such wonderful treats. We collect silly things that mean the world to us. Online, we rant endlessly about our favorite shows. Introverts control their loneliness, make it our own, and tame it to suit our needs.

Image result for books

Extroverts are mastering the art of being social, but introverts have been mastering the art of self. We dedicate ourselves to the quieter activities and find peace from the world around us. In the process, we learn more about ourselves and we become damn good at our hobbies! Perhaps we’re not as good as we wish we were (looking at you, writing skills!) but we’re working on it.

Don’t feel guilty for it, you are doing the best you can.

How do you spend your Me time? What are your obsessions? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t be afraid to share a picture of your nails/sweaters/pet rock collection.

Edited by Viveca Shearin

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