Category Archives: Relationshit

Why you should spend some time alone

I’m putting out a call for artists, writers, photographers, filmographers, general wanderers…people with a vision to live for today, and build a future to remember. I know I’m being vague, but if you want to turn your sense of adventure into art, music, words, whatever it is you do – or if that’s what you already do – message me! Trust me; it’s worth getting involved.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about taking a normal part of your life that you drive, and walk it instead of driving. You can read the post here, which went into a little bit of depth about the small space of time that walking provides, and the breath of discovery with which it will fill your lungs. You’ll find new things, maybe meet new people, and definitely enjoy the whiz of cars as they rush past you at your gentle walking pace.

There is, however, one thing that perhaps seems a downside to taking time to walk: you will probably be walking alone. ALONE is a fairly scary word to most of us. It seems we dread it, and I think even the extreme introvert would suffer being truly without other humans. The presence of other people is something we were meant to crave, and the fulfillment we get from being part of a community – even if it’s just one other person – is entirely satisfying…possibly even relaxing. And even as you walk, you won’t be alone. You’ll have your phone, or your iPod for music, or the knowledge that someone wants you, and those are all great, incredible things to have.

There is, however, a difference between the aloneness you experience in the few minutes you could take to walk to work, and another feeling that you may have experienced when someone else leaves you; abandoned. When another person, or several other people, leave you behind or desert you, that is when you feel truly alone; abandoned, deceived, betrayed, deserted, forsaken, jilted. I know there are probably some of you who have never felt this way, but for the majority of people, I feel safe to say you have felt with some strength an aloneness that only comes when a person you trust, rely on, or love just…leaves. It’s the only aloneness that really matters, isn’t it? That, I think, is the aloneness that we all fear, because in that aloneness, we are left with nothing but ourselves. When someone abandons you, you are suddenly hit with the fact that you are a solitary person by yourself. And that is scary.

But let me be one to challenge that fear, and say that aloneness, in spite of how hurtful and horrifying it is, can actually be a good thing. If you took my challenge to go for a walk, you may have noticed some things that are hardly present in the rest of life: your own thoughts. Your thoughts on the life around you, the whizzing cars and the people you passed and the sounds. So much can be experienced through a single sound, and being alone really helps you to experience each and every sound, thought, and emotion on your own and – more importantly – as your own.

In my experience of abandonment, when someone leaves you, you’re left with just those thoughts. There is the pain of betrayal, but there is also the opportunity to truly explore who you are, and what you think. Without the presence of another individual, the world becomes your own as you view it. If you went for a walk, you probably felt a little bit of this; when I walked to work the other day, I felt the cold swish of air with each passing car, and the different textures of the concrete sidewalk, and the smells of the donut shop that ended up luring me into its doors. While I may have experienced these things had I been walking with someone else, I don’t think I would have attached myself to them so prominently had I not been completely alone.

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So let me leave you with a challenge: next time you are abandoned, embrace it. Feel what it’s like to be alone, without people, living life and adventuring by yourself, and remember that feeling. You may have to push through some pain, but the knowledge of yourself and a love the world around you will be so rewarding. In fact, double-challenge: not only should you walk to work tomorrow, but you should walk to work the day after that person abandons you, and every day after that…just so you can begin each day as your own person, with your own world of cars and concrete sidewalks and donut shops in which you can thrive.

Even if it means you thrive alone.

Peace,
Hayden

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Stop looking for love

I’m thinking of posting more every week. A long, thoughtful post like this every Wednesday, and then something short and simple on Fridays. Something the length of a Tweet, or maybe a link to a video. Either way, it’d be two updates a week. What do you think of that idea?

I’ve noticed this trend lately where people search for someone to love. Piggybacking off my last post here, “There is so much more than ourselves and other people in the world. There are walks to be had and words to be written and things to be discovered.” I think I could wrap this post up here, but I’ll delve in deeper to this thought I’ve had.

So people look for love. Rather, they look for someone to fall in love with. If you’re a Christian, it’s the guy/girl after God’s own heart, really marked by a love for Jesus and a foundation in the Gospel. If you’re into rock and roll, you probably look for people who are also into rock and roll and can do a kickass Elvis impersonation. If you like tall people, someone who is 5’2″ isn’t going to cut it. If you like a quiet night in, you’re probably not going out clubbing looking for love. And here’s the thing: this makes sense, logically. It does. You are ready to fall in love and get married and make or adopt babies and so you need to look for a person who will fit you and fits what you love. And I’m not talking about the perfect person or “the one”, because if you still believe that “the one” exists, please stop reading now and go back to Andalasia. I think that the majority of people who are looking for love know that no one is perfect, but that they do have types and preferences and even necessities or basic expectations, and thus they look for someone who fits those things.

If I asked my readers to raise their hand if they are ready to fall in love, most of you would probably shoot it straight up there (but please don’t, because I don’t want you looking like a spasming weirdo at your desk or on your couch or wherever you’re reading this). And also don’t raise your hand because, while this makes sense, the entire premise is faulty. Let’s flip the question: how many of you are really ready to fulfill another person’s expectations? I’m going to assume no one raised their hand, except for the sarcastic bunch.

How many of us are really ready to be another person’s person? To satisfy them and make them feel loved and do Elvis impersonations for them? How many of those things that you are searching for in a person can you really say you are ready for another person to look for? I think we all have things to work on, especially if we already think we’re pretty damn good at them. We can all adventure more and dance more and love more and learn more and listen more and see more and change more. We will never be ready to look for love.

So stop. Stop looking for love. Stop this futile search for the lover you want, and instead pursue becoming the lover you want to be. Become an adventurous soul, a wanderer, a better person, a mathematician and a dreamer, a painter and a crooner, a runner and a fangirl, who you want to be. I guarantee that by putting down the search for someone, and by becoming the person you love, you will not need to search anymore. Love will find you if you become what you love.

Peace,
Hayden