Guest Writer Dr. Synthia Michelle Doaks
By Dr. Synthia Michelle Doaks
As a mother since the age of twenty, my life was an ode to nurturing, guiding, and loving my three daughters. Every breath, every moment revolved around their well-being and happiness. Their growth from girls to women became my purpose, and their successes reiterated my investment in being a present and active parent. But life is a series of chapters, and as my daughters matured and forged their paths, I found myself at a unique crossroad – the threshold of an empty nest.
Initially, this phase felt like a sudden vacuum, a silence that echoed their laughter and chatter. However, amid this transition, I discovered an unexpected reservoir of strength, resilience, and a newfound love for solitude. Amidst this newfound freedom, a romance blossomed – with the great outdoors. I found solace, not in the crowded rooms of my past, but in the expansive embrace of nature. Backpacking through rugged terrains, setting camp under starlit skies, casting lines into serene waters, navigating trails, and immersing myself in the symphony of bird songs became my rejuvenating routine. National parks emerged as my sanctuary – vast, majestic landscapes that echoed the vastness of my newfound inner peace. But what made these journeys truly empowering was the solitude I sought and cherished during these adventures.
Venturing into the wild alone allowed me to reconnect with the essence of my being – to find solace not in the company of others but within myself. In the embrace of nature, I discovered the power of introspection. These moments of solitude became an incubator for thoughts, reflections, and revelations – echoes of wisdom whispered by rustling leaves and dancing streams. The tranquil silence of the wilderness became the canvas on which I painted my dreams, aspirations, and rekindled passions. It is within this solitude that I found strength. The power to navigate the trails of life, to face challenges head-on, and to embrace my individuality. Solitude is not an absence; it is a presence – a companion that enriches our understanding of ourselves. It is in these quiet moments that we find clarity, self-awareness, and the resilience to tackle life’s endeavors with a rejuvenated spirit.
The transformative impact of solitude on my mental health cannot be overstated. It became a sacred ritual – a tonic for my mind, a balm for my soul. The tranquility of nature functioned as a salve, soothing the echoes of the bustling world, and allowing me to exist in harmony with the universe. I advocate for the importance of solitude, not as a withdrawal from the world, but as an embrace of oneself. In the cocoon of silence, one discovers their strengths, passions, and deepest desires. As my daughters continue their journeys as educators, I embark on mine – an expedition of self-discovery, empowerment, and the celebration of solitude.
To all, I impart this wisdom: amidst life’s bustling cacophony, take the time to immerse yourself in solitude. For within its serenity lies the most profound strength – the strength of knowing oneself. Happy New Year adventures!