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In Defense of Solitude

In an essay titled “reflections on my 20th birthday”, I wrote about my love for life and optimism for whatever the future may hold. I discussed my so called “Bildungsroman” which caused me to critique my narcissistic behaviors as well as my implicitly misogynistic tendencies — as Federico Fellini did in his magnum opus 8 1/2.

That essay was animated with a spirit of melancholy and optimism that underlined the need for solitude and self-love as well as the need for human relationships that create rich philosophical and sexual experiences.

That essay came from a place of good intentions, as it was about a man who wanted to purify himself of his inner demons, which cause him and those around him great pain.

It was about a man who set out with good intentions, who wanted to deviate from his cultural experiences and fix the world around him. It was about a man full of ambition and intellectual curiosity.

As I write now, the spirit of warm optimism and melancholy has been replaced with dark and cold cynicism and pessimism that cause me inner misery. I can feel grey hairs growing as I feel myself physically growing older.

I feel precious evenings are being lost in hopelessness and despair. My ideas of falling in love have all withered away due to the self-indulgence and stupidity of me and others.

Love has become a mere illusion used by people to justify their miserable existence. The idea of finding a soulmate in which one has much in common with has proven to be a mere illusion, since those who I have things in common with have the same insufferable traits as I do.

When you find someone, you have things in common with, you begin to hate each other, since you see the flaws of the other person in yourself. You also tend to viciously compete with them.

To remove myself from this constant drama, I indulge in long hours of internet porn, which fulfills my sexual needs but not my spiritual ones. Over the years, porn has become an indulgence and an addiction that I have become ashamed of, and it has contributed to my solitude and lack of ability and willingness to maintain a stable sexual relationship.

I have become moody and I often get irritated to easily. Ideas of altruism and making the world a better place make me laugh. It is as if all my ambitions have all of a sudden crumbled beneath my feet.
That young man who went into his undergrad wanting to change the world has become cynical and pretentious. The young man who was once quick with a smile and loved staying up long nights now despises humanity, including himself.
The constant bureaucracy that has drained everyday life of the potential beauty and simplicity shown in Abbas Kiarostami’s Koker Trilogy has burned me out.

Religious and cultural dogmas have drained me of my innocence and pure desires. The pretentiousness of Western Academia has drained the beauty of knowledge vis-à-vis the over analyzation of texts and the constant victimization of one’s self. I have become tired of friends, even family.

I prefer solitude over anything else, as it is the state when I’m most in my freedom and in my madness — it is when I’m most authentic.
Like Jean-Paul Satre once said: "“If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company, and hell is other people”.
Likewise, French writer Albert Camus once said of solitude: "Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be".
This quote is especially timely in our age of postmodernity — which has created the age of simulation through alternate realties such as virtual reality and social media, thus diverting our attention and constantly keeping us connected to the world.

Its like we have a home with no door, where people can constantly creep in and criticize you in the digital space. However, it is almost impossible to leave the digital space, as all forms of communication have become centered there, and not participating in it will make you an outcast in all walks of life.

I constantly feel tired, pessimistic and miserable, but like I mentioned on Reflections on my 20th Birthday, men like me were never supposed to be happy, and we never wanted to be.


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