Category: Musings

How To Be Alone

How to Be Alone
By Tanya Davis 

If you are at first lonely, be patient.If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it. 

We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books; you’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there. 

There is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in. Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation. 

Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles. The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.
Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone. 

When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and Silverware. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were. 

Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community. 

And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after-all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings. 

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city. Roam the streets. There are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might have never happened had you not been there by yourself. 

Society is afraid of alone, though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if, after awhile, nobody is dating them. 

But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it. You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company. 

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts, an essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay. 

‘Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you. For this be relived, keep things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. 

Take silence and respect it. 

If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. If your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it. 

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it. 

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it. There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

What to do when life doesn’t turn out exactly as planned

Source: Pinterest

Go through the day as if nothing happened. Leave your desk when it’s time to do so because you are not up to any last-minute meetings and sit-downs anymore, and head to the nearest mall. Or in this case, the supermarket.

Remember that you have to purchase a clip-on lamp, you know, that kind where the base is a humongous clip instead of just a round heavy plate. Bemoan the fact that they had all sorts of cheap lamps on the rack, but not the one that you need. In frustration, head off to one of your favorite aisles: the Asian section. You are in an Asian country, and yet there is still a special section for “Asian” stuff, but that’s okay. At least they have stocked up on your favorite instant Korean noodles. Get a pack, oops it sells for P72 each. Kind of pricey for a noodle, don’t you think? I’d get two. Still too expensive. Leave the other pack. Sort through the spicy noodles. Get five packs. Still pricey. Leave four out.

Check the veggies section. Where on earth do they keep the corn-and-carrots packs? Oh well, next time. Just get the already chopped chop suey mix. Grab a bag of your favorite pandesal. Syet naman, kuya, bakit mo ako binunggo ng cart mo? Ang cute mo pa naman.

As you walk to the cashier, you pass by the luggage area and can’t help checking out what they’ve got in stock. Ooh, they have the model that you want et voila!… it’s a lot cheaper now. Due to the forthcoming Korean trip in winter, you would need a bigger luggage to stuff your winter coats, boots, and what-nots in. Ask the sales assistant to show the luggage to you. He complied, and you would have bought the thing if you had extra cash. No dice, maybe on the next pay day; you could have helped the assistant meet his much needed sales quota, but you had already put your extra cash in your checking account. Babalikan ko na lang, you promised him and you hoped he would still be the guy manning the luggage corner on your return. More to the point, you should hope the model that you wanted was still there, including the “free” carry-on. The polka dotted one in orange was sort of cute.

Don’t forget the pass by the alcohols section and get a can, one measly can, of beer.
Head off to the register and pay for the impulse purchase. Add another impulse buy by grabbing the eco-friendly shopping bag and thus get two points for each of the item that you bought on the loyalty card. Total points: 4. Get the heck out of the place. Most women buy shoes when they’re down. You buy groceries. Time indeed changes one’s perspective. Or one’s buying habits.

Tomorrow, life should still go on, hopefully as planned. Try not to be late to work. Accomplish something. Run. Fortune favors the brave…and the persistent. Now read up on your assignment instead of procrastinating. The latest K-drama dibidi can wait.

Reality, it permeates

Brandi Carlile

I watch you grow away from me in photographs
And memories like spies
The salt betrays my eyes again
I started losing sleep and gaining weight
And wishing I was ten again
So I could be your friend again

These days we go to waste like wine
That’s turned to turpentine
Till it’s 6 AM and I’m all messed up
I didn’t mean to waste your time
So I’ll fall back in line
But I’m warning you, we’re growing up

I heard you found some pretty words to say
You found your little game to play
And there’s no one allowed in here
And just when we believe we could be great
Reality it permeates
And conquers from within again

These days we go to waste like wine
That’s turned to turpentine
Till it’s 6 AM and I’m all messed up
I didn’t mean to waste your time
So I’ll fall back in line
But I’m warning you we’re growing up

I know we’re okay
I know we’re okay 

These days we go to waste like wine
That’s turned to turpentine
It’s 6 AM and I’m all messed up
I didn’t mean to waste your time
So I’ll fall back in line
But I’m warning you we’re growing up

What would have been your answer to that major, major question?

Since yesterday, I’ve been trying to come up with a plausible answer to that “major, major” question. How would anyone have answered that question without crucifying herself in front of the world? Would something like, “I cheated in 9th grade” or “I shop lifted at 15” suffice? It is a loaded question that easily assumes that by 22, Venus Raj had already committed serious mistakes that needed some form or another of correction. People make mistakes, but when you have not even lived well enough to see life’s dark, ugly side, it’s unfair to assume that you are just like the next girl who stumbles out of the club at 4:00 AM and goes about town without her underpants. And it’s unfair either to assume that a woman in her 20s must have already seen life’s ills whether in spite of or because of her poverty. Give the lady a break!

I don’t like the question, as much as I don’t like being asked, “What is your biggest weakness?” or “Bakit hindi ka pa nag-aasawa? (Why are you still single?)” Of course I have a couple of weaknesses, but why should I tell a complete stranger about them? At the end of day, maybe these questions don’t necessarily beg for honest answers, but a proper approach. What is my weakness? Standard answer goes from shoes, to coffee, to Roger Federer, to being totally OC about certain things. What is my biggest mistake? I could tell you but then I would be forced to hunt you down and kill you. I guess Raj’s mistake was that she couldn’t explain in English that she had been surrounded by a supportive and loving family who helped her avoid having to make huge mistakes. 

Dammit, Bill Baldwin, you should have thrown that question at your wife because for sure she would have a number of answers. And what the heck, Evan Lysacek? Is this a third-grade Q & A?

Sidenote: Has it been really that long since Wilson-Phillips made it big? I remember that at one point in high school, they were my favorite girl group, and I could go on for hours listening and singing to You’re In-Love, Release Me, and Someday I’ll Be (Next to You). She looks nothing like the Chynna I used to admire on MTV.