Solitude

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Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.  It’s not related to any big project or impending deadline.  The best way I can describe it is feeling that I am never alone in solitude.  Now, let me clarify that statement for a second.  Physically, I am alone for most of my day.  I work from home with only a couple of basil plants and a tiny moon cactus keeping me company.

But mentally my mind is all over the place.  It is constantly distracted by technology: my phone, my computer, back to my phone.  If I am not checking my email, I am texting, tweeting, facebooking, web surfing, then back to checking my email (as if a two minute interval would’ve really produced a mountain of new communications).  At the end of each day, I feel drained, as if I’ve been holding my breath all day, without having let go.

It concerns me that I’ve lost the ability to sit still.  Like really still.  I miss solitude and connecting to myself amidst each day’s chaos.  I wish I could pluck myself away from the hubbubs of society and land inside a humble shack by a desolate beach, with nothing but clothes to keep warm, food to keep me full, and a book to keep me entertained.

Can you relate to what I am saying? I think technology is taking over our lives: it’s good in a lot of ways but not so good when it comes to keeping us grounded in ourselves.  We’re constantly on the lookout for something new and interesting tweeted/texted/instagrammed by someone else.  If we happen to be doing something new and interesting, we feel compelled to share instead of immersing ourselves completely in that moment.

I am guilty of all of the above and I am tired of it.  In many ways, I miss the good old days when technology didn’t take over our lives, when life felt more human.

Photograph by Melissa Days at WanderingOgraphy.

Contrasts

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Today as I ambled around my neighborhood block, soaking in the warm sun, watching traffic whizzing by, passing the familiar mom & pop shops and bars, it dawned on me that I love this city because I love contrasts.

New York is a city full of contrasts – between nature and industry, between pedestrians and cars, between colors and grays, between harsh winters and boiling summers, between historic buildings and new developments, between people from all walks of life.   It’s only when we experience contrasts that we learn to appreciate the value of each object/person/setting’s unique beauty.

How about you? What makes you love your hometown?

Image courtesy of klaradar