The past few days make me realize the benefit and importance of solitude. Solitude does not necessarily mean you have to be alone all the time or isolate yourself from others or cut yourself off from the outside world. To me, solitude means being lost in one’s own world where only oneself can exist together with her ideals, principles and imagination. Whether you are walking among a crowd, sitting in a classroom with teacher mumbling her lesson or admist a party with small talks about the most popular queen in school. You can always cherish solitude during these moments because your imaginative power is infinite. In that world, you face yourself, not your reflection but your own self, a 3D figure with depth and substance. It is when you answer the questions why about your emotions, your dreams and purposes, not only the question what.
I seek solitude in various forms of art and humanities that I am passionate about.
That feeling is satisfactory, you know when your toes are lifted from the floor, your body feels lighter and your eyes closed just like how your worries are removed from this earth. After that, muscle by muscle inside your body is shifted, bent and stretched according to your will. You feel a sense of fulfillment, empowerment and control and at that moment, it dawns on you such a beautiful, original and strong creature you are. That flexibility is not illusion, it is within you, a power, a potential unleashed that take you closer to your dream. It is only you discovering what is inside yourself, feeling the heat of passion and love in your sweat and the fulfillment of struggle and pain in your bone. I fell down a lot. I am not the best dancer. I remember four years ago when my best friend took me to contemporary dance class, how innocent and ignorant I was about dancing, timid and scared, wearing tight jeans as I never went to dance class before. And from struggling with stretching, I have turned to appreciate the values and emotions expressed by each slight move in dance. That is when I find solitude in this form of art, whenever I am in a class or on stage, I feel that solitude embracing me, where there is only me questioning my potential in the form of physical movements.
Remember that nightmarish moment when you open your mouth to hit some musical notes and all your friends started laughing at you? Remember that welling frustration and anger when your choir conductor kept pointing out that you are off pitch? I have been through all these things, and definitely, at times, I felt like what the s***, why did those people have the right to judge my singing and my musical expression? It is undeniable that vocal training requires all the strict techniques and musical theory. However, singing is different, and the beauty and power of singing cannot be conveyed adequately through all these techniques and knowledge. You don’t need to be in a choir or performing art or rock band to sing. I know many of you open free concert in the toilet. That’s great, go ahead. To be, singing is more than choir training. Singing is a way of emotional expression through rhythms and melodies. Through the energy you gather from your core, your heart, your throat. That voice should not be full of technical vibrato without your heart beating in the rhythms. Feel it when your mouth open and a beautiful sunlight grows out of your heart and your throats to radiate that power, that welled up depression or happiness or frustration that have long been buried inside you. I find solitude in singing. I find myself conversing with my heart beat in rhythm or even more, your heart and mind become your musicians playing inside your mind. I tell a personal story to myself and to the audience without being lost forever by the clapping of the crowd. I have serious stage fright, with nervous breakdown and nausea before almost all my performances. However, over time, it is singing that lures me into my own world, a world of happy and peaceful solitude, a wonderland of my own magic and characters.
3. Reading and acting
These two activities seem unrelated to one another, but to me they do. I have that tendency to act out what I read, no matter that is a non fiction or fiction. I have been lucky enough to be taking Literature and Performance, an IB subject that provides me with a platform to analyze poems, plays and transfer them into drama performances. My drama teacher pointed out things in literature and drama which are very ordinary and real-life. Unlike what I used to think, exaggeration is not the main part of drama. However, it is a tool to convey the real situation, the real emotions, real and ordinary principles, as simple as the natural/inevitable coexistence of happiness and sadness. Because of such simplicity and honesty of drama that are masked under the hyperbole and exaggeration of certain types of theatre, I find solitude again with myself indulging in the sincerity and ordinariness that are hidden from the real world which is supposed to be “real” .
Whatever you do, there will be times that you find yourself separated or different or not fitting in. It is completely normal, though it might be scary and depressing sometimes. To me, I just realize that these moments allow me to unleash the deepest and truest emotions inside me, when the surrounding become silent and the inside start to voice out. Find that time space for solitude to face yourself, not necessarily sitting alone locking yourself in the room. Instead, go out there, explore new things and you will certainly see that peaceful moment for your self discovery.