And if you made it to here, congratulations! Let's begin.
In a Facebook note entitled "Something I've Always Known," I detailed my belief about going through life alone, because nobody can truly make you happy for long unless you're happy with yourself. Despite all the great things I said about having poeple in your life, that note was actually written out of sadness, loneliness, and even a little bit of contempt.
When I'm struck with deep-seated feelings of negativity, be it anger, jealousy, rage, contempt, etc. I often resort to the thought, "Screw everyone, I have to do this alone," and this thought stems from many things:
- That I have to do it alone because the situation is too sensitive/complicated to talk out with others
- No matter how much others insist it's "okay to talk about it," I'm always afraid that revealing so much of myself will leave me vulnerable, and consequently leave me
- a) hurt by their judgement
- b) dependent on their sympathy, which won't always be there (honestly)
- ---i. and this would probably make them sick of me
- I don't want to "burden" people with my troubles (see item 2bi)
- I want to be able to come up with solutions by myself
- I feel badass when I say it
I hope ya'll remember how to read those kinds of outlines, because I feel like that's how I best express myself XD Some artist, right?
I'd been thinking about this for some time. Wouldn't one person go insane trying to do everything alone? I had the privilege of being left alone for a few days by the friends I talk to most, and yea, it does suck (especially when the back pain's bordering on severe). I thought back at all the times having friends and opening up to them actually got me through tough times, and it's true: you do need people, because your mind is only one perspective, and opening yourself to others is like opening several windows of possibility. People will think of things you've never thought of before, and if they actually echo your thoughts, then you know you're on some track because someone else shares your opinion.
But swinging back, what about all the wise old men who came to enlightenment on their own? Buddhist monks who sit alone in caves for DAYS, only to come out completely refreshed? Jesus, who retreated to mountaintops and solitude to be alone (redundant!) for uninterrupted blocks of time? Finding enlightenment alone is certainly a theme that's been visited and revisited throughout human history, but can you find yourself by yourself as well as finding yourself with others?
I think I realized the difference this morning, and I did it all alone.
So here's my take:
You can "find yourself" in the time you spend with others... finding out what you're like, finding out others' perspectives on you and the things you believe in. It sort of puts you to the test and, as I said before, opens you up to other possibilities that you can choose to take, leave, or make something of. The time you have alone is a time to reflect and absorb these experiences, and put them through your own little info-processing-brain-machine. It follows the saying, "In class you're given a lesson and then tested on it; in life you're given a test and taught a lesson from it."
Pertaining to me specifically, I learned that tackling problems by myself, as well as tackling them with help, is a method that should be treated with care, just like tackling problems with others. With others you run the risk of becoming too dependent (a condition to which I've fallen prey more times than I care to mention), and by yourself you risk your own well-being and sociability.
We need others to show us things.
But without applying ourselves to them—if we merely subject to what others say and do—we are products of everyone else. We are no one.
Figuring things out is a cycle, a pattern that alternates between your time spent reflecting on stuff and your time spent exploring. It's all about balance.
I never really know how to end these kinds of blogs, so I'm just gonna hope that you followed that massive train of thought well... and if you didn't, go ahead and leave a question. Comments are fine too :d