Do not, under any circumstances, come to my home.
My house is my Fortress of Solitude. It’s not a man-cave. It’s a me-cave. Everything is set up exactly the way I want.
There are three reasons for this and they’re directly related to each other.
- I’m a hermit
- I don’t care for people
- I understand the beauty of solitude
The last point is the purpose of today’s article. We live in a society where we’re bombarded with ads, forced to work with people we don’t like, and work jobs we hate. We go through this for 10-12 hours a day and all we can think of is how much we want to be relaxing at home.
Wow. Quite the Tyler Durdenesque intro, isn’t it? Luckily, this story ends differently.
Anywho, I couldn’t live like that anymore. So I got rid of all of the above. Keep reading to learn more about how I used solitude and silence to make my life better.
A Path of Enlightenment
I remember when I was in college. My first or second freshman year. Maybe my third. We’re talking close to two decades and the memory is a bit fuzzy at this point. I definitely took the Tommy Boy approach to higher education.
Friends and random people would come over and they would ring the doorbell. This drove me nuts. It’s not the bell ring that grated on my nerves so much as what it represented. There was someone who was at my home, and they would like to come inside.
For a long time, I just dealt with it. It was part of life. Society said I needed to have friends and entertain and be entertained so I could be happy.
A Bad Man in a Bad Place
Let’s fast forward a decade or so. My depression had gotten worse. I had become a cruel man. I was hateful to everyone I met. It wasn’t right. It didn’t make me feel better. Hell, I had no idea what would make my life better.
This is when I decided to change. I went to work. I made occasional trips to the bar. As I dove deeper into my experiment with solitude, these events became less frequent. In less than a year I found I was at my happiest when I was alone.
The funny thing is I never felt lonely.
I stopped watching TV. I Stopped hanging out with my friends. Most of them were married or about to be, had kids, and it was getting to the point where I felt unwelcome anyway.
After several years of living my life in my little hermit hole, I finally emerged as a better human being. I understood myself, my body, and the world around me like I had never been able to do in my youth. There is something about hedonism that drives young people. They want the party to never stop.
As I got older and became more of a hermit, I realized if I wanted the party to keep going, it had to change. Not cease to exist. Deep self-reflection gave me the insight to know the difference between getting older and getting wiser. I don’t have many regrets. I have learning experiences. What made the switch eventually flip is how I looked at them.
The Modern Era
I still don’t go out much. Why would I? I designed my life to suit my needs. I cook at home. I shower at home. I work at home. I’m entertained at home.
My life has become almost completely stress-free. Once I stopped worrying about myself, my stress, and my dead-end job, I became a master of empathy and passion.
You can’t truly understand what someone else’s life is like until you aren’t miserable. Happiness is found and you can look back and see the road you traveled. At this point, you can honestly feel other people’s pain.
As far as passion, it’s due to understanding myself and what I truly want and deserve. Depression tricks your mind into thinking you deserve all the terrible things that happen to you. Solitude taught me to laugh in depression’s ugly face and go on about doing what made me happy.
I’m more productive and creative than I’ve ever been. There is no depression, anger, or hate. When I wake up, I go outside and smell the air. I appreciate the sunshine on my face. My food tastes better than ever before. On top of that, my skills in the kitchen are superior compared to when I was a legitimate chef. Talk about bizarre!
The Bottom Line
I had a friend who told me to try meditation. Why would I do that? I live almost my entire life in a meditative-like state, appreciating the beauty of the world around me, more capable than ever of deep concentration and thought, and better able to understand and eradicate negative thoughts and feelings when they happen.
I didn’t go to a monastery or study with a priest. I did this on my own. If you dig yourself into a hole, why would you ask someone to help get you out? What are you going to learn from letting someone else fix your problems for you?
The real problem is that in today’s world, most people don’t have the time or patience required to fix the wrongs in their life. When it gets to be too much, they end up taking out their inner frustrations on innocent and defenseless people.
In my humble opinion, everyone in the world could use a little more solitude. They may be pleasantly surprised at what they find.