Born Alone

January 13, 2013

My first post of the year, and as usual, I’m not sure where to begin.  There’s a bunch of things on my mind, but none seem to be completely well-formed or coherent.  I suppose I’ll start typing, and hope that everything finds its way into this post.

I came back from my trip abroad a few days ago.  Just as I suspected, I did have a lot of fun.  But just as I also suspected, it wasn’t quite the same as my first trip to Italy.  I was right when I said my need to leave the country alone wasn’t as great as it was two years ago.  As a result, the alone time wasn’t as savored as I wish it could have.  That’s not to say I didn’t like it, but I think I’m finally beginning to slowly drift away from my hermit mentality, and being alone isn’t as sought after as it once was for me.  I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not; on one hand I like to think that the sort of independence I’ve achieved from being alone for so long, and how extremely comfortable I’ve become with it was due to a lot of hard work.  And no longer being as comfortable as I once was with my alone-ness is kind of a jarring thought.  But on the other hand, maybe I’m finally growing up.  I hate to admit it, but my fiercely independent attitude I had, just even a few months ago, is not entirely right.  It lacked a middle ground, as it typically made me pretty anti-social.  But now I’m beginning to involuntarily feel the shift in my mentality, and I guess I’m not sure how to react to it since it has been a while since I’ve encountered this sensation.  What I also attribute to the change was my trip I had in Amsterdam after I ate some magic truffles.  During that mentally exhausting trip, I had a bit of an existential crisis.  My mind trounced on the first sign of discomfort from being alone, and I quickly realized I wasn’t as comfortable with it as I once was.  I kept thinking about how we all have nothing, and how we don’t own anything.  And the phrase (or something similar to it), “We all die the same way we came in:  alone” was so suddenly and annoyingly profound.  I felt like I could have gotten more out of that mental marathon, and could have arrived at some enlightened view regarding the matter of alone-ness, but I was so incredibly mentally drained by the end of it all that my only thoughts were, “I want this to end already.”

Aside from that though, I met a lot of cool people on this trip.  I saw a lot of cool things.  And in general, it was nice to be in a different part of the world, exploring places I’ve never been to, meeting people I wouldn’t ordinarily meet, and doing things many people don’t normally do.  I’m happy to be back though.  I feel like two weeks was enough time to feel some renewed energy and optimism in the year.  There’s something about traveling alone that gives me some confidence and positivity that I can work with whatever happens.  I hope that actually translates into something big again this year.

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