Time Alone with My Thoughts

Or, the measures I’m taking to avoid sinking into the trap of dying frustrated and ignorant.

One of the hardest things about writing is just sitting down to write. I’ve been telling myself that I’d get around to blogging again for…three years, now?

I like writing. I think thoughts that I find helpful. I believe that some of those thoughts — in theory, at least — are valuable when applied by humans other than myself.

Why the silence, then?

Not a lack of desire, certainly. At least once a day it occurs to me that something I’ve said or done or learned or screwed up could be worth sharing.

Not fear. I don’t exactly long to spill my guts publicly, but I’m far from shy.

My literary cease-fire, then, boils down to either inertia or screwy priorities. Probably, if I’m being completely honest, a fair amount of both.

That, or just my own unwillingness to spend an extended amount of time alone with my thoughts.

There’s a trend right now in the circles I run in: more and more people around me are meditating or keeping gratitude journals or something similarly, inwardly peaceful.

Not me, though. I can’t do it; meditation feels forced and awkward, and a gratitude journal is just homework from a lifestyle blogger.

But even though my knee-jerk reaction is to write it all off as new agey, touchy-feeley, hippie dippy bullshit, I see the value in it. We need to be alone with our thoughts; to spend some time sifting through all the noise in our minds; to think a little bit about the why of what we’re feeling instead of just the “what’s next”. That’s some pretty important, grownup-level business.

That leaves me with a bit of a conundrum: I feel like an asshole counting my breaths or keeping a diary of warm fuzzies, but I see a valid and pressing need to stay mindful of where I am, what I’m feeling, and why.

Because I’m here to learn. If I’m not learning from the things I feel, I’m just barreling toward death as a ball of unexamined loneliness, momentary joy, and mystery boners.

What makes sense to me is to just take half an hour each day and write. No set subject matter, no agenda, no business model — just a (completely public) space to spend a little alone time with the chaos in my brain.

And really, this may just prove to be my way of both meditating and keeping a gratitude journal, tweaked just enough that I can convince myself it’s neither.

What to do next.

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