There is always a need for alone time. I did not know that. I did not know that in the furore of my daily life, I would need alone time.
Being somebody whose timetable can begin at 9am and have non-stop activity until 12 midnight, I never realised the importance of breaks and quiet time. If left alone at home, I’d sleep in a little but then I’d want to do something. As I stopped to think, I realised perhaps I was like this because there was a gaping hole in me that begged to be filled. Maybe while it was true that though I enjoyed these activities and the people that i hung out with, I was empty inside, and not whole.
I think that was when the desire in me began to increase for alone time. I discovered that in these short seasons of alone time, in which when I started out, I was not used to the silence, and the quietness. But after time spent alone in silence with God, with myself, I began to crave these seasons of quiet. It seemed like a time where I was blocked out from the noises that were all around me, the clamouring for you to join in the events or societies, the place where you could just be free from societal demands and overtures and be still.
I grew to treasure those seasons, and they often came coupled with nature walks. I’d walk down the beach, in the park, go on a photoshoot of plants, flowers, take longer routes from point A to B because it meant I had more alone time. I used to believe I was an extreme extrovert but I never knew that extroverts needed alone time and quietness. University gave me that side I never knew I had, a desire to be left alone.
Occasionally it got dull and rather boring so I’d go back and find the things I loved to do and I discovered that the mental and emotional energy I possessed after seasons of repose was a lot more and made my work rate higher as well. That’s when I realised I needed to cement rest time for myself every week. It is and will always be a struggle for me to balance between rest and work because my brain seems to keep wanting to go on but my body can sometimes give way, and my heart wants to be quiet and alone.
I’m saying this because many times, when everything starts going into a mess and we hit walls (as a friend told me recently), we need to just withdraw ourselves from everything and be alone, at peace with God and with ourselves. I need to constantly remind myself that what determines how good anything I do is, is not society and all their ‘unspoken’, ‘agreed upon’ set of mantras and anecdotes.
Of course, there are a truckload of things to be done, but, those breaks are so v e r y important to keep ourselves sound and sane. In those breaks, I drew close to God, reached moments of self-discovery, and also consolidated my thoughts and events that came and went so that I do not let life slip on and pass by so easily.