In Search of Solitude

With the semester now running in full gear, I find myself exhausted. Yep, it’s Week 3 and everyone is supposed to be emerging from their reveries and plunging back into commuting and queueing for food and getting through 9.30 a.m. classes without falling asleep, but I’m already looking forward to our recess week – one week of unadulterated bliss. No wait, we have essays due right after. Damn.

I’m no longer living on campus, because truth be told, I just wasn’t bold enough to put myself out there and socialise. It’s fine for me, because now I get to eat at home and sleep on my bed (which is infinitely softer, by the way), but I do find myself wanting to get away from my family a lot more.

I’m good with seeing them everyday during the holidays, but when I’m busy and tired, I really much prefer to be left alone. I’ve always been the most comfortable when I’m all by myself and I really can’t see that part of me changing any time soon. It’s a pity, because I’ve been laden with a lot more responsibilities that involve meeting and interacting with people, be it with family or friends. I also really love studying (not exaggerating). However, put all these things together, and I’m left without the solitude I so require. I find myself literally crashing onto the bed and being oblivious to the world within the same minute.

When I started this blog nearly four years ago (gosh, I’m really getting old), I always hammered out my posts way past the witching hour. That was when I felt the most comfortable. That was when I realised that I needed copious amounts of solitude to keep myself sane, and I made sure I gave myself that time to relax… and watch tons of TV shows…

Unfortunately, my younger siblings have all reached the age where falling asleep before 2 a.m. is virtually impossible. As a result, I find myself accompanied by my sister’s presence late into the night. It would be alright if she could do her own thing and be very quiet about it. However, she loves talking and seeking affirmation from the people around her, and guess what? I’m just right there, reading the chapter on narratology. Come on, she’s just reading right? No big deal, it’s not like it’s math or something. WRONG. It’s a big deal to be disturbed, especially when I’m reading, be it for class or for leisure. The last thing you’d want to do would be to talk to be at the end of the day when I haven’t been alone for the entire day. I get people talking to me even when I’m in the shower.

Well, why don’t you wake up early then? Well, I try, and I’ve managed to turn my body clock backwards somewhat. Only my parents are early risers and my dad needs his radio going as soon as he gets out of bed. I can hear the radio everywhere in the house.

What about school then? I’m sure you could find someplace quiet in school. This now, is my alternative. And this is where I’m writing this post now. Usually, I’m booked with appointments from friends needing my counsel, and boy, are those problems serious. I never would’ve expected to come across such serious issues in my life, but here you go, here’s your full college experience – as a pseudo-counsellor.

Yeah, baby!

Yeah, baby! All alone!

Of course, after all that is said, I’m still grateful that there are people in my life. I’m honoured to be able to help people with their problems. It keeps my mind off my own, for one. My friends are mostly really understanding (there’s always that one person…) about my workload and my inherent desire to finish my readings before class, but my family hasn’t accepted that being an English major isn’t just about sipping tea and reading books for fun. I can’t just drop Robinson Crusoe to talk to you, because “it’s not really studying”. It is studying, and it is intense at times, not to mention horrendously boring. No amount of caffeine can get me through Robinson Crusoe. That’s how good that book is.

Unfortunately, I’ve already lost my temper at my parents for interrupting my reading time, but I really don’t see things changing soon. They are ageing after all, and I find that they need so much more attention from us, especially now that we’re sort of grown up and because we don’t need their help as much as before. I don’t know how this relates to the reversal of roles, but in my case, it does.

Guess what I’ll have to do now is to be smart with apparition and disappear to a quiet spot whenever I so desire. Only I haven’t received my letter from Hogwarts. Yet. Ten years late and still hoping.

At least I know I’m still sane.

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2 thoughts on “In Search of Solitude

  1. English major?! Bwahahahahaha! Good luck with that one!

    –from a 51 year old English major.
    (Seriously though, you might have a lot of ups and downs at first, but once you settle in, I think you’ll find majoring in English makes you very adaptable.)

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