On solitude and connection

Caffeine? Check.
Laptop? Check.
Headphones on so I can ignore the world while sitting in a café? Also check.

Let’s go.

Talking to people is hard. I get that. That’s why I have my headphones on. I’m pretty sure that I wrote the book on not talking to people. Or at least a chapter of the book(?) Actually let me rephrase that, talking to people is fine… its communicating with people so that you can share a story, an experience, or information that is so difficult (for me at least)

Quiet night at the beach

As I have previously mentioned (and have ripped off from Chris McCandless), I strongly believe that “happiness is only real when shared” but I also find such peace and joy by being alone in nature. How do you enjoy the peaceful solitude without feeling the potentially looming isolation?

How do you find that balance?

The truth is, I have no idea.

Well I mean, I of course have some ideas, but what I don’t have is any answer with any degree of certainty.

So. Ideas.

In my experience, talking to people when you HAVE to talk to people sucks. Not having anyone to talk to when you want to sucks too.

cheesing around with awesome people in ucluelet
Connecting with old and new friends

It seems to me that to communicate isn’t just talking to everyone you meet, or even just listening to everyone you meet. Instead, I find it happens by being open to new people, new experiences, and new circumstances.

This summer while motorcycling alone through BC, the ride was incredible but it was the often-fleeting connections that I made with people that I met along the way that made the trip something worth doing.

Whether it was the elderly Australian couple on the ferry who offered me a place to stay when I travel there, the young ladies I shared an ice cream and A/C with in Rossland, the waitress in Sandon who shared some of her life story, or the bikers in Coalmont who BS’ed with me for an evening, everyone had a story or some fun bit of themselves that they shared. And connections were made.

I didn’t get to experience the slight bit of other peoples’ knowledge, advice, and kindness by actively seeking those people out. Or by hiding from them either. It was just an openness to interaction with new people that enhanced my experience.

It is those connections that, for me, make all the moments of solitude worth it; a way to share some of the insights and bits of myself discovered or matured while alone.

There’s no way in heck that I would be able to talk all day about life stories or about past adventures or even small talk. (Actually, ESPECIALLY not small talk…) There is also no way in heck that I could spend all day, every day alone with nothing but my thoughts.

It’s about balance.

Buuuuut I still don’t have any idea about how specifically to find the balance. While working through this post, it seems like there is no universal answer.

I don’t even need to say this but I will – Everyone is different.

Go spend time alone; get to know yourself and ponder your thoughts. But also be open to people; spend some time learning and sharing with both those who are close and those who are far.

Openness to people and experiences, I believe, is the key. Be open to new experiences and the balance will find you.

 

 

Thanks again for checking this out. As always, feedback is super appreciated. Here’s 2 rad songs I’ve been listening to lately!! (P.S. Tennyson is from Edmonton. Yay local!)

 

One thought on “On solitude and connection

  1. Zwanette Vermegen

    Alex,why do I get so emotional reading your blog. It’s like getting to know you all over again or maybe just getting to know you now. And please keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

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