I recently went back to Singapore for a 6-week visit. After being in COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival for 3 weeks with my wife at a hotel, I spent every day in the remaining 3 weeks meeting friends and family.
From being so bored that we played catch with sock-balls in our small hotel room to driving everywhere to meet people every day, the contrast in our lives before and after the Stay Home Notice (what Singapore calls quarantine) was huge.
In the latter 3 weeks I was experiencing a special kind of loneliness. I was either thinking of who to meet or meeting someone, never stopping to think for myself. I wrote in my journal about midway through:
I just wanted to be alone after so many days of being around people and talking and contending with their ideas. I need my own time and space to be with myself, to recalibrate, to know what I’m thinking.
I think what I felt was a separation of my mind and body. My body was busy doing things and lost touch with my mind, and that felt lonely. It’s like I strayed from myself.
Making time to think for myself is important. That’s why these blog posts are so important to me and I never miss publishing at least once a week. It is my mechanism to stop to and think regularly. Without it I am just a raft floating in the confluence of everyone else’s stream of thought.