In defence of being alone in silence.
Now I don’t mean one of those scary as isolation tanks you find in some spas. I mean you, just being you, on your phone, reading, drawing, doing whatever, without music or t.v blaring in the background.
After my previous job, where my workspace was so incredibly loud I couldn’t think, I crave silence and quiet like it’s something precious. I don’t mean library quiet, or glaring at anyone who speaks to me quiet but I just mean that hushed stillness. The kind of moments people associate with early mornings watching the sun rise but in an every day kind of way.
Do I sound like a psychopath to you? You wouldn’t be the only one thinking it! I didn’t realise how few people are comfortable sitting and doing something without actively putting on some background noise. I am not saying this because I think I’m superior… no-one with the high ground would also be guilty of spending entire days watching TikTok’s… (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
But I wanted to convince you of how peaceful it can be. We’re so capable of multi tasking, of engaging our brains with several different forms of media that when we are asked to slow down and sit in quiet, albeit for an exam, in your workplace, or just because you forgot your headphones, we are not capable of doing it.
If you are one of those people who feels frazzled or burned out by the end of the day, I cannot talk about the benefits of trying to find moments in peace and quiet enough. I know others might preach to you about meditation in this instance and while I can attest to having found some of these ‘three minute meditation’ apps helpful, I also think that for some they can be a little unrealistic or too hard. Plus, this comes with rhetoric of ‘it’s not hard if you make time for it’ and all the guilt that comes with it, which is helpful to no one.
But snatching moments of quiet? Beyond realistic. Even if you just don’t pop the radio on in between leaving work and picking up the kids a couple times. This a little thing that falls into that ‘mindfulness’ category but I think this is a realistic way to go about it. Little moments of bliss. Little moments to let your thoughts re-order themselves.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wanting to surrounded by sound, especially if it makes you happy in some way but I’m saying make space for quiet moments. Make your own oasis of calm.
Before I finish this not so ranty-rant, I thought I’d leave you with a picture of the most peaceful moment in my entire life on a beach in Thailand, at sunset. I want you to picture the distant sounds of people having fun, the smells of their food and laughter wafting over to you but you’re here at the shoreline, listening to the quiet sound of the waves rolling in. You’re barefoot, in nice soft white sand with warm water washing over your feet. You’ve just had nice relaxing day sunbathing, had a delicious dinner, in one hand you carry your flip flops, in the other a drink. The sea sparkles with gold flecks as the orange sky turns pink and purple, then inky blue. Until there’s no sun light left but you don’t leave, you sit against a palm tree, basking in the warm night sounds and finish your drink.
So if you’re ever in need for something to fuel your moments of peace, please feel free to borrow mine.
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