The Year Of Solitary Independence

It is the end of 2008, the end of so many things that has happened, to the world and in my life. So it’s hard to quantify, let alone qualify the moments that have happened in my life throughout the year. If we at the very least learned something new every day, there would be 365 things to write about and that’s only the stuff we can remember.

But there is one thing significant about 2008 that I will always relate to. It was the year I grew out of something. A year that was both its own hell and its own blessing. Its actual failure and its aspired success. It was the year I spent being alone and the year I realised I could be so much more because of it.

By nature, I like to be with people, not just for the company they are, but for the recognition they can give. A part that makes me feel “real” and valued as part of the society. It’s true that being deprived of any positive acknowledgement as a child still drives me to reach as high as I can in the hopes that I can feel vindicated of my purpose and achievements, but the reality is that because of that very nature and then some, I will always be apart from people.

The very part that drives me to be the best I can be is a part that most people will take as reasons for staying away until they need me. It’s a part of me that makes me difficult when dealing normal personal relationships. It’s not that I can’t maintain a professional relationship with people, it’s that anything more than that and the social bonds begin to unravel from the sheer difference of opinion and personality between myself and the rest of the world.

What 2008 brought into the mix was the realisation that I could be happier without people around. I could do so much more without being bothered by people’s constant preconceptions and misconceptions about my ethics, motives and actions. It’s not to say I don’t need people, because I still do. It’s that I have to accept that this is who I am and this is what I do before making the best use of what I have. People might not always agree with me, but they aren’t always right as well. Sometimes you have to learn to stop waiting for some sort of social validation and just commit to what you know are the better choices.

So I learned how to be independent on my own. Not in the terms of someone “living in a college dorm” independent, but someone who deals with the consequences of their own choices in the real world, where your mistakes can’t be covered by someone else and the only person to fall back on is yourself. I learned that without people around, the only validation you really need is your own reasons for doing it and the only critic you have to rely on is your own common sense.

At the end of the day at an end of this year, the truth still remains that nothing has changed, yet at the same time, everything is different. It’s true that socially, I am as devoid of close peers and camaraderies as I was at the beginning of the year, but realistically speaking, I don’t think they were as important to my life as I wanted to believe it was. I succeeded in what I wanted to get against what I thought were bad odds, only to realise that solitary independence aren’t bad odds.

You don’t need people to cheer you on to succeed. You just need a reason to succeed. A reason to forget everything else in the world save for the one you’re concentrating on right now. Because I learned this year, that’s what mattered to me above all else, what I’ve always fought for will always matter to me.

And the best thing about it is, I smile a whole lot better succeeding in life than I do trying to get along with people. That’s certainly worth the money shot alright.

5 thoughts on “The Year Of Solitary Independence

  1. You said: “You don’t need people to cheer you on to succeed. You just need a reason to succeed.” Well said. I may sound strange, but this is true only for a healthy minded person.

    In contrast, a badly depressed person don’t have any reason to succeed nor to alive. If this is the case, it is the other way round: People can be a reason for one to succeed.

    Speaking of independence, I still remember that I have been trained to ride on train and walk to school when I was in standard one.

  2. Sknownotice: I tend say that people need a reason to succeed because I’m perpetually depressed. For years, I’ve battled depression and what kept me going are the reasons that I justify in myself to keep going. They might not always be sane reasons, but they are reasons nevertheless. I am where I am now because of those reasons, and while I still fight my violent mood swings, every success gives me more reason to keep going. Shedding the burden of dealing with society this year gave me less reason to be depressed and more reason to concentrate on putting my foot one step forward at a time.

    The independence I’m talking about is the one where you finally realise that your actions carry with them consequences that affect you. No longer do you have a safety net in the world. I do think that training to ride a train in 1st grade is no different than training to live by yourself in a college dorm. Somebody is still watching out for you.

  3. I noticed in your comment, you said: “For years, I’ve battled depression and what kept me going are the reasons that I justify in myself to keep going.” Although I have commented earlier with a strange remark, I do think that I had been in the similar situation.

    This year, it is my ninth year of battling against mild depression (I am unsure how “mild” it has become today). My mood will swing occasionally but once it takes place, I even lose reasons to everything I do (i.e. to eat, to work, to succeed, to live).

    Medications were useless for the first three years. So, I have stopped my medication on my own and built several reasons that are strong enough for me to live without medication until today. By the time I realize, those reasons are hardly visible to me.

    When a person is trying to survive on his own, the reasons one has will eventually fades out. Worst, one may unable to find reasons anymore. That’s when I say: People can be a reason to succeed. I don’t mean the people themself is the reason however, the people whose giving one support lead reasons to be found – for one to succeed.

  4. I’ve often found at the end of the day, your own reasons are you own. No one else can give you those reasons, no one else can justify them for you. While my reasons for pushing the limits does involve people, they haven’t evolved from the support of people, but rather what I want for them.

    Maybe it’s different between you and me that, despite being alone, my reasons have always burned and pushed me to reach higher. Regardless of my mood swings, what takes me back is the constant reminder of why I keep doing what I’m doing. That is my center, my anchor and maybe even my world.

    It just doesn’t have to be several reasons to do what you should be doing on your own. It just has to be one reason, one purpose to tell you, that’s why you’re meant to be here, right now. In retrospect, most people that don’t suffer from depression don’t have that kind of reason and actualised purpose to live. So it’s not something people should worry about, but it is something people should at least try and find in themselves. It can’t hurt to know what it is you wake up to first thing in the morning.

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