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Better Advice

Why Life Is Like A Bubble

Embracing solitude as an engine for creative freedom

Photo by Raspopova Marina on Unsplash

In solitude, the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself — Laurence Stern.

What beauty lies within one’s bubble?

You could mistake this piece for someone who’s embraced the pandemic living now after two years or as an introvert which in both cases are correct, but there’s more to the story.

It begins with a bubble, a floating bubble built from soap and water with some friction.

As the bubble floats along, it may come across other bubbles and grow into a more giant bubble or completely pop. The bubble can also continue floating until it no longer remains in view.

Stay with me. I promise this makes sense.

Life, in a sense, is a bubble, a beauty of what has come without origin or at least seemingly out of nowhere to just existing then disappearing in an instant.

Merriam Webster defines a bubble as:

A small body of gas in a liquid.

Riveting.

Okay, enough bubble talk.

I’ve learned to understand my bubble, sorry. And through my experiences, I want to walk you through what I’ve gained from this.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve either gotten smarter or intolerant of people’s thoughts and actions. Recently, I’ve spent more time in my room than anywhere else. I would say that I’ve been in my room for about 18 hours each day, which is insane. This accounts for sleeping, writing, designing, working, eating, etc.

I should start a timer on this.

I’ve learned that the best ideas on creativity and life sprout in solitude.

It is in the silence that greatness begins.

Before I continue, please note that these are my experiences only.

Benefits I found to work in solitude

Taking time to be alone has allowed me to:

  • Revamp my career journey
  • Allowed me to understand my anxiety
  • Rediscover my love for creating

Let me go over that in more detail.

Revamped career outlook

I found that I wasn’t fond of working for someone else. I decided to start my own company focused on what I find joy in — designing innovative products with an artistic sense using 3d printing.

Believe it or not, I am also headed back to corporate but in a different, more creative role. This is in line with my creative endeavors outside the office.

The intention was to find a job that also enables my creativity and further develops relevant skills within my own pursuits.

The main difference between my current role and my previous route is the freedom to create.

The inability to be happy stemmed from an active pursuit of a life untrue to who I am.

Working in solitude has allowed me to think freely and clearly. I’ve spent countless late nights jotting notes and writing about what I want the following years to look like.

And as for happiness, well, that’s just something you experience not find.

More on that in another piece.

Since discovering this magical time, I’ve learned that I want to create more things in this world. Retaining some pre-existing, collective sense while remixing and cultivating new ideas.

I seek to be a pioneer of my own kind.

The ability to think clearly and freely didn’t come overnight.

I would say finding my rhythm in silence allowed me to enter a flow state where I could plan details on what my life will be like.

My word of advice here is to not shy away from alone time. Embrace every minute you get.

In these moments, you learn who you really are and what your heart yearns for.

Give yourself a listen.

Understanding my anxiety

The current state of the world can be mistaken as a non-ending nightmare for some. For others, that has always been the norm. For me, I didn’t see it that way. In fact, I became anxious about what I was never going to have the chance to do.

I became filled with regret and feared death.

I still fear death. This is not a cure for that. But I learned to understand that perhaps I felt anxious and feared death from not living a life true to myself.

I felt confident in who I was and what I wanted to pursue in the past. Still, it took a pandemic, quitting my job (voluntarily), and introspection to create the perfect recipe for a massive mental shift.

I wanted more.

I wanted more from my life. I wasn’t happy with where my trajectory in life was headed. To some, a corporate job with six figures and fantastic benefits is excellent. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I also speak from privilege and acknowledge that not everyone is given the same cards.

Nevertheless, I realized I wanted freedom in my job to create.

Having worked as an engineer, I designed and created products, processes, and custom equipment for someone else’s dream. Working at two startups helped fuel my desire to create, whereas my time in two corporate companies took that away.

The lack thereof allowed anxiety to take place in my head.

Luckily, I spent time by myself to understand this. I didn’t plan to leave my job but was able to and ultimately did.

Having been out of work for almost two months, you learn a lot about yourself if you choose to.

I love the word sabbatical. I wish I had done this sooner, but everything happens as intended.

The first time alone in my thoughts was difficult. I felt a rush of anxious emotions that powered my heartbeat. As I grew comfortable in silence, my anxiety was replaced with periods of tranquility and deliberate action to create a life where I could flourish and produce.

Now, I create.

Rediscovered love for creating

Growing up, I never considered myself creative. I felt inclined in the sciences and mathematics. Taking a step back towards my childhood, I realized this was false. As a child, I grew up in a creative environment. I was in art classes in school and participated in several sports. But this wasn’t the deciding factor in rediscovering my creativity.

It was Legos.

The best Christmas gift to this day as a 26-year-old was legos.

Hands down.

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I woke up early Christmas morning and rushed to open my gifts. It was a lego set of a helicopter that I quickly built out in less than an hour. That lego set sparked a massive mind remapping.

Building the lego helicopter was not at all the goal. In fact, there was so much more I learned. I began to re-create the helicopter with different modifications, attachments, orientations. I got more lego sets and began to create my own pieces of art using my mind.

I thank my parents for that gift to this day. Raised by immigrants, my parents couldn’t afford expensive gifts, but as a child, anything given was a wonder in itself. I loved that lego set and still have it to this day with countless others.

Fast forward, I became a design engineer and built several designs and creative solutions because of legos. But now, having rediscovered that I actually am creative, I’ve taken a step in a new direction to focus only on creating and less consumption.

I still try to consume content to generate new ideas or formulate new skills to create unique pieces.

A simple gift meant to occupy the mind for a given time remains the basis for who I am today.

You could say that I’m still that child who’s looking to build something of his own just like he did on early Christmas morning.

Why I decided to embrace solitude

Continuing on the same vein or sud, my life feels like a bubble. But not in the protective, enclosed sense but rather in the introspective and skill-gaining type.

I’ve gained new skills, rediscovered old ones, and regained a sense of self. Being alone has not made me lonely.

There’s a difference.

In a way, being alone has made me find myself, therefore finding company. And there’s nothing better than being comfortable with your true self.

Of course, this realization was years in the making.

I had to understand my anxiety and choose to make a deliberate effort to understand the root of the problem and what I ultimately wanted to do going forward.

The pandemic, in a way, has allowed introverts to flourish. It’s also allowed humanity to see that time alone isn’t so wrong.

If you take the day for what it is and capitalize on it, you’ll reap the benefits regardless of what’s in front of you.

Embracing my solitude has allowed me to rediscover myself.

The ROI on self-improvement and self-discovery is infinite.

Anonymous parting words:

In a moment of pure frustration today, I concluded that there is no angry way to say ‘bubbles’

If you enjoyed this or feel the same way, I want to hear about it! Let’s talk!

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Henry Cabral

Henry Cabral

Startup Founder • Creative Engineer • Enabling your ideas into innovative solutions • Check out my links at bio.link/henrycabral