Sitting in the basement, sunk into the couch. Coffee and muffin on the coffee-table in front of me, Lana del Rey plays from the Pandora radio on my iPod. Leather jacket sprawled to my left, misshapen maroon pillow to my right.
I came down here to be by myself. Social interactions hold an inordinate amount of pleasure for me. I think I’m addicted. So I’ve decided to allocate at least a few hours a week to myself, and shut off social networking, texting, laptop. Instead, I’ll pursue activities that were pushed away in favor of being a social butterfly.
Reading. Going for a walk, maybe even taking my camera with me. Talking with my mother about her coworkers and telling anecdotes. Just lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling, and listening to music. Writing [Exhibit A]. Having an impromptu dance party in my room, maybe?
Do not underestimate the importance of being alone. This sounds emo/morbid, so let me explain:
People, myself included, surround themselves with others, with Facebook, Twitter, Chirper, Blabber. They are losing themselves. They [we] are forgetting their souls, their hearts; everything is pressing against their consciousness and muffling their selves. The beating you are hearing in your chest is that self, struggling to get your attention, notice me, I’m different, discover me, there is so much more than what you show to the world. This potential YOU is being suffocated.
It’s tragic to see. Especially when you look up from your phone and realize that everyone around you is the same way. “Snap out of it.” “Snap out of what?” and that’s the tragedy.
Something I experienced on the train one day:
Sitting on the train, feeling down as the storm clouds rush in and rain starts to attack the roof and windows of the train. No one makes eye contact or pleasantries, and this contributes to my growing sadness. Then,at Bryn Mawr, I look up and a friendly face framed by red-brown curls, adorned with hipster glasses and a newsboy hat…he throws me a sweet smile (complete with twinkling eyes) before exiting the train car. I gave a reflexive surprised smile in return, and as the train began to move again, that smile widened until i was just sitting there grinning like an idiot and at this thought my heart lifted: there ARE nice people in the world. Bless you, whoever you are, for making me smile.
He’s alive. So alive. So awake. You can see his personality pouring through the lively eyes, the shining and obvious message that beams, “I know myself. We’re best friends. I let him out. Let yourself out.”
That makes me think of coming to visit an old friend, in a big home filled with distractions and newfangled technologies. There’s a world outside the house, but your friend won’t come out. “Why should I? I have everything I could possibly need here. Look- my phone is the newest version! My computer can tell me anything I wish to know. My TV tells me news and entertains me. My friends can come here. Why should I come out?”
And here’s what you tell him. “Breathe. Experience. Run around. Cry. Fight. Love. Hate. Skip. Fall over and laugh at yourself. Laugh in general, a lot. Do all of these things, but most importantly, leave this house when you do so. Get out of this prison. Let yourself out and allow the world to see you in all your beauty and uniqueness.”
Look at your personality, be firm. Point your finger.
“There’s the door.”