I moved into my new apartment earlier this week. It's a nice place, very new, and when it rained the other day the whole complex reminded me of the The Cove apartments from M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water (not that I would recommend that movie, by the way, I'm just saying that my view of the pool here looks similar, although I hope it's not the home of a water nymph). My job as an RA has already started, but mostly I'm just checking out summer school students and checking in fall students, and that's about it.
I have to stay on campus when I'm on duty, which is quite often, and many of my friends haven't moved back yet, so I'm kind of on my own. I have two roommates right now who are summer school students, but they are often in class or at work, so I haven't gotten a chance to get to know them very well. Basically, the last few days have been a lesson in solitude.
Solitude is different from loneliness, I think. I've been in touch with plenty of people, both online or by phone, but physically I am pretty much keeping to myself these days. For someone who usually likes to do lots of stuff and be with lots of people, it's a challenge to occupy my time while staying sane (or as sane as I can get!) I've been reading (I'm almost finished with Never Let Me Go, which is an awesome book). And I've been watching old episodes of Project Runway on Youtube (I never saw Season 2 in its original run, but I'm liking it so far... less bitter than Seasons 1 and 3 but more interesting than Season 4).
I'm also trying to get myself spiritually centered before the school year begins. Over the summer, when I'm working, I have a habit of getting out of my spiritual routine... you know, praying, reading the Bible, etc. I think that kind of stuff is important, so the down time is giving me an opportunity to study, reflect, and analyze where my relationship with God is. I guess you could say that my method of spirituality is more analytical. I rely on observations more than emotions, so that takes more time and effort. I'm thankful that I have the time, then.
Of course, for all the upsides of solitude and down time, there are bad sides as well. Oddly enough, when I have all day to do a small number of things, I actually find doing those things rather difficult. There's a lack of motivation or listlessness involved, and I really have to say to myself, "Get your darn butt in gear!" to get stuff done. I can't tell you how many days I've wanted to write a blog post since I moved in, but this is the first day that I actually sat down to do it (even though I've certainly had time).
There's one other little thing that bothers me about alone time, and I think any guy (or gal) who's ever had a problem with pornography (no matter how "minor" or "severe" it was) could relate to. One of the key practical methods of getting over any addiction like that is distraction. I have had a lot of tips and tricks that I've utilized that have more or less worked over the past two years (not saying I've been perfect, but compared to high school, I've been a veritable monk). However, most of them revolve around finding something else to do when I'm tempted -- something else to watch (not on my computer, of course), somewhere else to be, someone else to see, etc. Right now, my options are limited, and my usual tricks aren't there. This could be a good thing, though. I think I'll have the chance to rely more on God alone to fight my temptations. They aren't as strong as they used to be, but I still don't want to give them a foothold.
Anyway, for someone who is really bored, I still wrote a lot. I promise I'll have some good stuff shortly (I mean, really good stuff, like, that requires research and heavy thinking on my part). For now, just let me know how you're doing, and what kind of things you do when you're facing an extended period of physical solitude.