Is solitude good or bad? Maybe it all depends on the word we use for it. I think loneliness sounds sad, but solitude sounds profound and somehow okay. I have always noticed in my life that the world operates around me without really ever intersecting. I live my life contently, but I never really come into full contact with another human being. I never touch someone’s life because I never get close enough. Every morning in the school library, I sit at a table with 4 chairs alone. Eventually, a friend may come and sit with me, but on some days, no one else comes. Even strangers don’t choose to sit with me; they’d rather sit with other strangers than me. I usually change quickly for gym class, and I sit in the gymnasium against the matted walls, waiting for a friend to arrive. Sometimes, I just sit there silently for awhile until our teacher tells us to line up and wonder if everyone thinks I’m just some lonely hermit-type character. I am always wondering what society will think of me. What would they think if I ate my lunch alone? Would someone take pity and sit with me or would they all just continue with their own business and not even care or would they think that I must be some crazy, weird kid? Luckily, I have friends to eat lunch with, but I still am alone in gym, in the mornings, and when I go to the library during lunch. I even walk to my classes alone most of the time. So now I wonder…is it solitude or is it loneliness? Am I a sad person or a well-adjusted, different one? I suppose either option is equally viable. Occasionally, I break down and want to cry like today. Most of the time, I wander through my daily life, content and confident. As I’ve mentioned before, I was having a great year for a long time, but lately, the whole thing has been crumbling bit by bit.
I can just even remember back to 1st grade when they gave us “tiger roar awards” for exemplifying our school’s policy of “be respectful, be responsible, be safe”, and I decided not to talk for a whole lunch period once to show how respectful I could be. It was only 18 minutes, but it was still significant considering that was the biggest socializing time of the day. And now I think of the present and how every single interaction I have with people is so vital to me. I remember negative conversations for days, sometimes weeks, and occasionally months. One small, inconsequential comment can tip me off balance for quite awhile or send me into a spiral of despair. Recently, I have been amazing at brushing things off and continuing forward with optimism and positivity, but today is just not one of those days where I can focus on how far I’ve come. Today, I’m remembering where I used to be and how it still manifests itself in me in my current life. As I said though, I understand what a powerful effect words can have. I understand how people are driven to self-harm and depression and suicide from things that peers said. I would say there are times when I enter states of varying degrees of depression, but I have never entertained suicide as a thought. There were a few instances where I thought of self-harm as a possible solution to problems, but those ideas were quickly dismissed as silly. How could cutting into my wrists possibly fix anything? Most of the problems in my life are caused by outside sources, and I can only control how I react to them. Strength, hope, and goodness are the most important traits I can adapt to combat the evils and darkness of the world. I still wish I didn’t have to go through an individual mental/emotional struggle each time I was put off-kilter; I would much rather have a friend that would really go out of their way to help me with more than a text or facebook message. A phone call or visit or gift or letter or anything along those lines is worth a million texts I think; however, I know the world is technology-focused today, and I don’t expect anything to change on my account, so I’ll continue to get by with my constant internal struggle churning below the depths.