There was a moment the other weekend that hit the sweet spot. I went out running mid-morning on Saturday. My goal was to hit up Wirth Park because I didn’t really enjoy how crowded the bike trail by me gets. (I love that it’s there, but I really don’t enjoy working out with hundreds of other people.)
I crossed the 394 bridge and made it to the park. There are a number of paved roads and trails going through the park, but I decided to get off some of the constructed trails and go on those that were blazed by foot traffic. I’ve gotten used to seeing cars and other people while running in the suburbs, but I soon made it to a place where there was nothing around me. No people, no cars, no sign of any development. I had to take off my headphones and walk.
I love those places where it seems like I am the only person around. It energizes me and makes me feel like I’ve stumbled onto some sort of magical secret place. That happened another time when I was in the North End of Boston. I walked around and made my way onto a street with no cars or no people. I remember it was a windy day and I saw a plastic bag floating around. (I swear I’m not just copying “American Beauty”).
Most of my life I’ve thought of myself as extrovert. I like talking to people for the most part. I’m curious and I enjoy speaking in public. However, there are times when I just need to shut everyone and everything else out and go for a run or a walk or some other type of energy-burning activity. I like silence.
I remember a day in high school when I walked through our gathering space and everyone was on their computer or playing music. It was just loud. It felt like too much. I told my english teacher about it before my next class. A few days later we ended up doing a class on silence. I loved it.
It’s hard to balance these aspects of my personality. I haven’t really acknowledged that I need privacy or solo time in my relationships before. That’s actually very important to me. There’s the part that revolves around physical fitness, but I also need that time to just let my wonder. I do that through walks and browsing through libraries and bookstores.
Phones haven’t helped me in need to be introverted. Sometimes I just get so sick of mine and the FOMO, that put it in airplane mode and stash it away. I really enjoy those times.
I don’t find solace in the internet and I don’t really de-stress by playing team sports. I do those things by being alone. I just need an hour or two everyday to do that.
I used to think that being alone meant you were lonely, but I think it’s become a crucial part of my life. That lonely writer thing… lol