Well, I won’t have any new travel stories for a few months, so I’ll do some filler posts in the meantime.
Something that has been on my mind for a while now is the art of being alone. At first thought, the idea can be scary and sad, but, in fact, it’s really a simple thing that can impact your life greatly in a positive way. You see, when you are constantly around or in connection with people, you start to adapt their ideas and mindsets, and that can be great, we wouldn’t be anywhere without collaboration, that’s for sure, but there’s a yin and yang to everything. Too much people time leads to too little alone time, which leads to considerably less personal ideas running through your head.
Now, I’m guilty of this a million times over. My whole life I’ve been surrounding myself with people or texting, social networking, etc. and that has noticeably affected my creative abilities. Anymore I find myself asking people what looks good on me or if something is funny before I post it. There’s absolutely no way that doing that all of the time is healthy and it’s definitely time I do something about it. Heck, I can’t even hold a conversation of my own for too long because I have not given myself time to develop my own personal opinion on a topic of interest. This struggle has led me to being awkward and introverted for most of my life, and will continue to do so unless I fix it.
That is precisely what I’m working on.
As of the last few weeks I have started texting considerably less and focused on hanging out with myself more. Now, that’s not to say I’ve given up my social life completely, no, I could never do that, but I’ve cut it down to a more personally structured pattern. Also, when I’m at work and the day seems to be dragging on and on, in my down time I’ll think up novel ideas or write songs in my head, and that’s helped greatly. But still I find that it’s not enough, I need more in order to get out of this unopinionated robot that I’ve turned myself into all of these years of never being alone. When I realized that, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to spend some time, maybe a few months, away from it all. Away from everything, phone, computer, everything. That’s when I decided on Alaska. I mean, there’s no better way to spend some time in your own mind than in bush Alaska for three or four months. Plus I’d always wanted to go there, but I digress.
I read another blog the other day that talked about famous artists (the author used Vincent van Gogh) and how a majority of the time, the best artists or authors were lonely or felt a sense of social rejection. In fact, many writers, including Henry James and F. Scott Fitzgerald have written about the isolation that is needed in order to write an actually decent novel. Sure, Vincent van Gogh had a huge amount of alone time and a million other things wrong with him, but it still proves the point that being on your own once in a while can lead to wonderful things.
Alone time is a necessity when you want to figure out who you truly are. So give yourself a break once in a while. Go take a walk through the woods. Go some place quiet and meditate, or even just spend some time sitting at home by yourself. Do what you need to do to find yourself and keep yourself. Moreover, don’t lose yourself in other people.