“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”– Orson Welles
Every trial or tribulation we face in life is filled with teachable moments. We can always learn something positive that can help us grow as individuals and as a society. There is no doubt that this year has been filled with hardships and inconveniences and lots of us feel that the rug has been pulled from under us and that we have lost a lot of things that used to give us a sense of stability. We haven’t been able to see a lot of our friends and our loved ones throughout this year, and even if we have, maybe it hasn’t been in the way we would have liked. A lot of people have had to work from home or generally distance themselves from people we are used to seeing on a regular basis. For a lot of people, 2020 has meant spending a lot more time alone than we are used to.
This experience of spending more time alone or isolated than usual has not been the same for everyone. A lot of people find ease in solitude while others begin to feel restless. Time away from our usual routines has invited many of us to reflect on our values and what we consider most important in our lives; it has also caused us to face our own thoughts and fears and most importantly, ourselves. Learning to spend time alone is an essential aspect of the human experience. It is crucial to self-development and it allows you to not define yourself through others or what the world wants for you. It allows you space to be creative and to create freely without the pressure of appeasing others. It helps us step away for a moment and regulate our own feelings which in turn will have long term benefits on our social relationships.
However, there is a very big difference between spending time alone and being lonely. The latter can really negatively affect a person’s health. Building a sense of trust, love, and closeness is a crucial aspect of a happy and healthy life. While it’s true that, at the end of the day, our walk through life is ours and ours alone, we have the beautiful opportunity to leave footprints in the hearts of others and to let others leave their mark on ours and that’s what truly enriches our experience and makes life worth living. In the absence of our usual material and earthly possessions and routines, we’ve learned what really matters – people. The people in our lives are what has helped us get through any hardship we’ve faced before and we must remember to keep valuing them in the same way when times are good and keep walking closely, hand in hand, as we have done up until now this year.