I’m comfortable being alone. I’ve gone to the cinema alone. I visit coffee shops alone. I’ve spent some lovely afternoons window shopping solo, but I wouldn’t say I love being alone. These stretches of solitary time are wonderful when I need a break from the bustle of my life.
And yet, my roommate has gone on tour for two weeks and the people who rent the basement suite underneath me are away as well. At first it was exciting. I could blast my music as loud as I wanted. I danced around the kitchen late at night. I sang every show tune I know while taking long showers with the door open. One week in, the novelty has already worn off.
Now, I find myself wandering around my home with the radio always on. If it’s not the radio it’s the television. Or I’m plunked in front of my computer. Sometimes both; I’m on the couch watching TV with my laptop. When I leave my house I’m plugged in to my iPod.
All this time alone has made me think; am I just plugging in to placate some deep loneliness within me? I like to think that in during my walks or bus trips I’m educating myself on current events, storytelling and culture by listening to podcasts. But perhaps stuffing earbuds is a pathetic pacification of emptiness within. Perhaps I’m uncomfortable with silence. Or perhaps I’ve had too much time alone with my thoughts.
In light of these questions I’m going to challenge myself over the next week to NOT plug in. I want to notice those times when I reach for the dial or headset or Facebook, pause and try to stay in silence to see just what it’s all about. Habit? Loneliness? Boredom?
Do you think you can go a day without plugging in unnecessarily?
Will you join me?
If anything I’m sure I’ll find comfort in the clicking of my fingers on my keyboard as I share my thoughts with you.