I have never been a phone-yakker, a pro at relationships, or a prime contender for Ms Congeniality (though sometimes social media 'likes' make me do a quick rethink on the last one, but never mind, who's complaining). I also believe in prioritising self-care and champion self-love (though not obsessively), but the past few days into the new year have winged in a new realisation — I love my own company more than ever. I am increasingly growing into a happy loner.
That realisation struck me as weird and worrisome initially. Perhaps the power of hibernation had been at work insidiously, especially over the past few pandemic-induced months of WFH. Or maybe it has something to do with brachiating into the 40s. From being an elective introvert during my school years, I have evolved naturally into an ambivert as my fling with modelling took me across the world, wading through Page 3 parties, and wincing inwardly at vanilla chatter. My communication skills with go-getter peers in journalism subsequently honed my grey matter in a way I yearned.
I am increasingly growing into a happy loner. (Photo: Reuters)
Looking back over the past 20 years, there has been a decided hum, an increased interaction with new individuals every day. A logical outcome with my forte circling lifestyle and luxury, and hence related events and interactions. I remember rejoicing when email was born, as it still is the most non-intrusive way of connecting with someone. Then social media happened, with everyone checking you on online before drumming up an acquaintance. The verbal and digital buffet began to rev up crazily with calls and digital communication whirling in with gusto. Then suddenly, social distancing happened. Now slowly emerging, I am finding myself liking the cosy nook I have shaped for myself and my endless ruminations.
Let me explain this. Writing is a lonely job anyway. It is a textured marinade - of you with your thoughts. Now with the pandemic-induced isolation and virtual events, instead of experiencing #FOMO (fear of missing out), I am grinning with #JOMO (joy of missing out)! Is this maturing of perspectives, distilling substance from clutter, or simply being asocial in a different vein? I find myself more compliant towards one-on-one masked interaction as opposed to a giggly group gathering. To the point that sometimes, even two more individuals count as a crowd.
Solitude has begun to satiate me at an inexplicable level. I am happy with my solo brisk walk, no buds. I can, as always, spend hours observing others, eating by myself. I am fine with friends, as there is no pressure of small talk, and they understand my, err... unusual trajectory. I am equally fine when friends are not around. Call it slugging, emotionally.
With everyone around toasting the binary shift in the year, I am busy relishing my untranslatable emotions, honing my emotional granularity. Is this the new fun, fierce, and fab?