It’s ironic because there was a time in my life when I’ve found myself being a loner on more than one occasion. When I went to college and even in years after that, I surrounded myself with people. And that worked well for quite a while until it didn’t. I realized and recognized that the people I was associating with were using me for whatever they could get out of me. I could help them out financially, and they took advantage of that. I didn’t think anything of it because they were my friends, or I thought they were. It took a long time for me to get to the point where I recognized that solitude is not a weakness; it’s a strength.

I have often heard the saying to “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” But I think I’m getting tired of the rat race. There are so many games people play with each other, and it never ceases to amaze me at the levels of deception people will go to for their gain. Over the last ten years, people have become more manipulative and ski manipulative and schemed more to meet their needs, and they don’t care about who they hurt or who they use. Sometimes that realization does a sobering pill. I’ve always been a loyal person, but I’ve gotten to the point where people who push you out of their life with little to no explanation or those who accuse you of things that never happened were never your friends in the first place. True friends can talk about the issues, and even when times are challenging, learn to acknowledge where the other person is coming from, not playing games with each other.

Some of my friends prefer solitude because they find themselves able to deal with life’s issues better. Covid made us learn how to separate ourselves from society and still be a part of it. We found ways to communicate with technology more and found more productivity because we could do things from our homes. If we had to work in public, there wasn’t as much traffic because of the number of people limited to various spaces. Restaurants and other businesses had to adapt by offering more take-out and delivery options than before since dining inside were taken away by our government.

I’m not an advocate of drama in relationships unless it’s on television or in the movies. The more active I get in various social media platforms and social circles, I’m learning to embrace those who aren’t perfect but aren’t out to abuse friendships. Life is complicated enough without adding stress where it isn’t necessary. I wanted a large circle of friends and envied the popular kids as a kid. I wanted so badly to find myself invited to the parties and other events that were part of the incredible culture. I changed somewhere along the way. Life jaded me in various ways, and it took a long time to start opening myself up again. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m much more cautious with people I choose to surround myself with and don’t allow myself to surround myself with users and abusers if I can help it.

Solitude is not a bad thing. Sometimes it’s the very thing that puts things into perspective for you. It can have a lot of positive reactions because it gives you time to contemplate what’s important to you and what’s not. When you feel the world weighing you down, remember you’re not alone. Sometimes it takes a little bit of solitude to put things into perspective and make the world right again. If you find yourself in that predicament, please take time for yourself. You never know; you might find a different version of yourself that was emerging all along. Have a great day, everyone.

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