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Me, Myself and I: Why You Should Embrace Solitude

In a society where loneliness is often frowned upon, I find myself embracing it with open arms. Our lives are constantly being influenced by others. If you listen to or view any movie, show or song, most of them are ultimately about love and finding the ideal soulmate. We rarely receive the message that solitude is beneficial and necessary. However, if we never welcomed loneliness, then how could we enjoy or be present in our lives? 

Aristotle Roufanis created an astounding project, “Alone Together,” where he examines the loneliness of big cities by taking thousands of photos over the span of months and digitally editing them to create one composition. A major city like Paris that is usually always well-lit will be altered to be dim with only a few illuminated windows.

Roufanis states, “The bigger the city, the lonelier we feel. It is important for people to understand that although lonely, they are not alone. Individuality does not equal to alienation.” Roufanis curates loneliness and emphasizes the importance of individuality by having immense detail within each illuminated window. As you magnify his images, you’ll notice people living their lives separate from any outside influence. The amount of detail in each photo is incredible, and you’re instantly drawn in. 

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As we separate ourselves from outside influences such as social media, social groups or even television, we’re forced to go inward. Embracing solitude provides you with a chance to pause or reset. You allow yourself time to recuperate by having a space free from the set structure of society and people giving you direction. You don’t have to constantly fulfill a to-do checklist to be reminded that you’re alive. You define yourself, not your job, social media followers or anyone else.

By just being, we create a safe space for individuality and creativity to flow without any restrictions. You can embrace loneliness in various ways. A great start is to put down your phone for at least 24 hours! I know it sounds sort of scary at first, but I promise everything will be there when you return. Place your phone on “do not disturb” and restrict any apps that may tempt you. You can remain in your home or maybe go for a more scenic view. This is your safe space, so you decide how you want it to be. During this period of loneliness, there are no restrictions! Do whatever you desire, and if you want an idea of ways to look inward, you can try meditation, yoga, or journaling to begin. Mindfulness practices help you improve your relationship with yourself, and they tend to settle your mind. 

If the idea of being lonely scares you, then you should unpack that fear. You should be excited for the opportunity to simply be and enjoy your own presence. If you can’t enjoy being with you, then no one else will be able to. Lean into loneliness. Loneliness is great when you have the right perspective on it! Don’t allow others to eclipse your individuality. Be you!

Regina Price is a senior at Georgia State University majoring in neuroscience with a pre-medical concentration. She is the current President of STARS, a mental health organization on campus that works to eliminate the stigma! Regina aspires to be a doctor and leave a positive impact on the world with the aid of science. In her spare time, she loves to give back to the community, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy various forms of art.
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