People used to terrify me. Well not people so much as the social interaction. Specifically the requirement to be engaging and be liked. Lack of self confidence I hear you cry, and I would agree.
So I did my research, read around the issue and concluded that I needed to face my fears. This coincided with the termination of a job. I switched careers to one that involved public speaking and social interaction on a daily basis. I cried before my first day, “I can’t do this!” I wailed to my then partner, but I did it anyway. That was nearly 20 years ago.
This isn’t the tale of how my life changed for the better and all my dreams were realised. Yes, I got good at my job and I gained fulfilment from giving of myself to create a positive impact on others lives but, I now wonder if I have been fighting against my true nature.
Lately, on my down time, I seek solitude more than I ever have before. No, this is not the same as loneliness. Solitude is a state of being alone whilst loneliness is a feeling of sadness because one has no friends or company.
I find solitude allows me to recharge. Without it I am unable to interact positively with others. Last Wednesday I shouted at my Dad over lane markings! I mean who does that? This got me curious, what are the benefits of solitude? Tiziano Terzani wrote in his book A Fortune Teller Told Me “For a month I had no one to talk to except my dog Baoli,” his conclusion “At last I had time to have time.”
So perhaps my internal voice is not so out of sync with current society that demands our 24/7 connectivity, but rather is demanding that I slow down. Watch the grass grow and trace the path of butterflies. Nature moves at her own pace. Why shouldn’t I?