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For my social media marketing class, the penultimate blog requirement asked us to either compare two mainstream movies with a theme of solitude or to take the #solitudechallenge: 30 minutes of reflection with no distractions. This was a pretty difficult choice for me, as neither sounded particularly appealing. I am, gasp, not a movie person, and having two sit through not one, but two, movies about a subject that I have little to no interest in was definitely off the table.

So, I forced myself to sit and reflect for 30 minutes. Normally, this would be a task that I might actually be excited about. About a year ago I started to do yoga and began to enjoy the quiet moments to myself. I was getting better at meditating and actually, really, truly, clearing my mind and finding peace. Three months ago, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. It was a shock given my young age and despite my family history. In quiet moments, my mind goes to unsettled places of uncertain futures. I don’t really like to be alone with my thoughts for this reason, but it was still more appealing than watching movies.

Despite the emotional implications of the #solitudechallenge for me at this moment in my life, it was and is always a good reminder to be present and stay connected with the real world. We hide behind our phone screens and computers, sharing carefully curated content to convey our own personal brands. The #solitudechallenge helped me realize that I want to be present in as many moments of my life as possible. I do not want to have any regrets about the things I should have or could have done. The #solitudechallenge was a real challenge for me, and, honestly, I am glad that it is over!