Recently, I’ve been taking time out of my day to just stop and think.
That seems like such a silly thing to say because I am always stopping and I am always thinking. But I think what I mean to say is that I’m finding how truly refreshing it is to just let myself be.
Freshman year, I took a Psychology course where my professor taught us how to meditate. At the end of every class, we would take the time to let go of our thoughts and find the space inside of us where we can have inner peace. I always enjoyed these end-of-day rituals, despite that the kids around me thought it was weird we were meditating in a college setting.
“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sometimes I think back on that class. I liked the way I felt when I could actually stop and let go of what was bothering me. These feelings linger with us; make us exhausted and nervous or uptight and frustrated. I think especially now, in this world we live in (fast-paced and unable to slow down), that it is important to take little moments to myself.
I never used to be alone, and rarely do I choose to be alone. I prefer to be in the company of others, hear the sighs of people in a library, the computers tapping around me, or maybe the sounds of a train station with bustling passengers, with the pages of newspapers turning or music coming out of too-loud music devices. I choose this over the silence.
Now, I try and relish in these moments of solitude. If the sun is out, and it isn’t too chilly (now that fall is here, and staying) I try to go to a small bench in a patch of woods on campus, or visit a bench swing down by a gravel path. These spots are normally vacant, and students rarely pass by. I like to sit in these secret spots, and whether it is a moment I am working on homework or writing for myself, I have started appreciating when I take the time to be alone.
Recent events in my life have expanded my boundaries of writing. One reason is the college course I am taking on creative writing; learning everything from poetry to prose, film to fiction. From this class, I feel more accepting of unfinished sentences and thoughts in the form of broken lines and rhyming stanzas.
I think some of this creativity has come from these moments when I am alone, when I can focus on what I actually want to write, what I have to say and what I want to make meaning of in my world. Most importantly, I think this ability to reflect stems from the idea that I may very well be unbelievably full of bliss. The idea that one person can make me feel this way is eye-opening, life altering, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way. While I am beginning to focus more on taking time to be alone, it’s in these periods of isolation that I think of this happiness, and the person that has brought out everything good about me, including giving me the strength to explore writing even more than I thought I could.