I recently heard that a wise person is someone who follows his or her own advice. If that is the case then I’m afraid I’m not that wise of a person yet. I have a lot of advice to give, but most of the times I fail to follow them myself. By now I’m afraid of giving advice in any shape or form, for I fear that I appear hypocritical. Nowadays I see my notes, my posts and my poems just as Van Gogh saw his paintings of sunflowers. As a means to feel happier. Most of my recent writing tries to sound uplifting and happy, like my poems I occasionally post on Instagram, because I have to admit that I’m not in a happy and uplifting phase of my life right now.
Solitude can be a tricky, two-faced son of a bitch. It is good for reflecting, thinking and learning, but let it be a part of you for too long and you get stuck in your own head. You may know Nietzsche’s aphorism: “When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” Nothing frightens me more than this, because it is all so true for me. I spend way too much time with myself and by now I feel the horrible gaze of the abyss penetrating my mind and heart. I am a lonesome and lonely writer and that is something I desperately need to change. It is my priority to try to be more open in mind and heart.
Most of you know The Wall from Game of Thrones that is supposed to keep the White Walkers at bay. My solitude has built four of those gigantic walls around me, with no chance of letting anyone in and letting myself out. My blog posts and poems are like messages in a bottle I throw as high and as far as I possibly can over the walls, in the hope that someone may find one and send something back. If someone could throw back a sledge-hammer, so I can start hammering a hole into one of those walls, that’d be great.
I’ve been “on the road” for about four years now and my biggest fear is that one day I will wake up and realize that I haven’t fully enjoyed a single day of my tumultuous journey. And quite honestly, I’m afraid that this is the case. I’m the typical case of someone who can’t appreciate the present moment, who can’t be grateful for everything he has, because he is too busy worrying about the future and about all the things that often times will never even come to pass. Basically everything no one should ever do, if he intends of living a good and happy life. And as of this moment, I’m not living a good and happy life. To be even more honest and to present myself even more vulnerable – I can’t even remember the last time I was truly happy. I can’t remember a time when there were no unnecessary worries about the future; a time where all the problems in this world kept quiet for a single peaceful and content moment. I have troubles recalling such a moment.
And I still worry about the future and I still imagine worst case scenarios. None of those scenarios are likely to happen, because they are just absurd and unwarranted. But I spend simply too much time in my own head and as I already mentioned – the abyss is gazing back. And the result of this is, that I’m getting quite good at writing about what is on my mind, but because I’m alone so often I have difficulties of talking about the matters of my heart. Paradoxically, when I’m around people I often feel even lonelier, which is one of the reasons why I try to stay away from parties.
In a sad way I think it’s funny how automatic our responses to the typical questions can be sometimes.
“How are you?” – “I’m fine, thanks!”
“Are you happy?” – “Oh yes, I am.”
We don’t even stop and think about how we really feel, before giving an honest answer. Being honest can be unpleasant as I’m finding out right now. It’s like ripping your heart out and showing it to people. “You want to know how I feel? There you go. No lies, no bullshit, no fake exchange of pleasantries – this is my truest self. Accept it – if you like it or not.” It is a feeling of being naked and cold.
So, yes, I am not happy and I need to work on that. Solo travelling taught me how to be self-reliant, but I made the mistake of mixing up self-reliance and selfishness. I used to think:
“I prefer to travel alone, because I can take care of myself.”
“I don’t need anyone’s help. I can do it alone.”
“I don’t need support or words of encouragement, because I alone am strong enough.”
How wrong and foolish I was and still am. I can’t take care of myself all the times. I can’t do it alone. And most definitely, I’m not strong enough yet to make it through tough times. I need the help, support, words of encouragement and an open ear just like anyone else does. I think there are ways how you can go through the harsh times alone, but what a lonely and miserable life that would be. It is a road that I’m trying to abandon.
I definitely enjoy a quiet moment or two every once in a while, but I stayed inside those four walls for far too long and I’m planning a Steve McQueen-style Great Escape out of them. And even McQueen needed all the support and help he could get.
While writing this post I was afraid of publishing it. Not so much, because of what other people might think, but more for exposing so much of myself to the world. But I said to myself that the worst case scenario of publishing this post is still a lot better than keeping it to myself forever. And this time I will not keep it to myself. This time I’m shouting it at the top of my lungs from the top of a mountain. This one is for the whole world to see:
“Here is an aching and loving heart, and it’s sick of being locked up.”