This article is inspired by three factors. Growing up shy and reserved, a book I’m reading called ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain as well as my graduate studies. I’m certain that there are other influences, but I’ll stop there. I’d normally reserve a topic such as this one for my weekly podcast, but wanted to bring it forth in this capacity.
Growing up, I was always around others. I come from a very large family and there was always a family function to attend. I played basketball from grade school through a smidgen in college, and could be found being active outside with my neighborhood friends.
It wasn’t until I became an adult did I understand solitude. I always thought being alone was a bad thing as society promotes teamwork. Also, entering “Corporate America,” I took the Myers Briggs personality test several times. Unless you grew up with me, you probably would not guess that I’m an introvert. When I was in Texas for South By Southwest (SXSW), huge music festival, with my label mates of UniFi Records, I was often found alone in a room studying and working on school work rather than socializing. It wasn’t until our last night did I join the festivities and socialize with everyone in the wonderful home we rented. While in Atlanta for A3C, another amazing music festival, a couple of years ago, when my peers got excited about being in the greenroom with the likes of EMC, Sway and Pharoah Monch, I nonchalantly directed Sway to the fruit while others were requesting photo ops.
I simply waited quietly until it was time for me to hit the stage. There, I gave it all I had. Then, I went back to my solitude.
Through the years, I have learned to value being alone in a quiet space. I find it relaxing to go hours without uttering a single word. Solitude is where i find my creativity clicking on all cylinders. From writing a song to developing process improvements for work, many of my ideas just flow. It is also where I am able to process things on a deeper level. In fact, this article is being written in a quiet, dimly lit space in my home. To cap it off,I couldn’t resist playing ‘Solitude,’ one of my favorite songs by Billie Holiday.
In closing, there is power in solitude. Whether you tap into it through mindfulness, yoga or through a reading a good book, find something that centers and recharges you. Embrace your magnificence found in your inner peace.