Monday, July 21, 2008

Solitude

Hey! It feels like it's been forever since I posted last, and that sucks, because I was trying to be one of those really prominent bloggers who posts, like, three times a week (I've given up hope on being an uber-prominent blogger who posts everyday. I do have a life, you know). What's worse is that I have a ton of things to blog about. I even made a list, which is the kind of thing I never do. Unfortunately I've felt sapped of motivation for a few days.

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.

6 comments:

Brian said...

I wrote a post a few days ago which touched upon my struggle with pornography but I kept it as a draft until a few hours ago. In fact, I linked to one of your past posts at the end of it. So it was nice to see this come across my Google Reader shortly after I'd taken the proverbially plunge and put myself out there.

Thanks.

In Christ,
Brian

kurt_t said...

I'm so confused. You're in an apartment with roommates, but you're an RA? Since when do RAs have roommates anyway? I thought that was one of the perks of being an RA, you get you're own room.

And thank you now the song "The Internet is for Porn" from "Avenue Q" is running through my head. And I've never even SEEN "Avenue Q." I just know that song from my little sister (who has a really twisted sense of humor).

otrolado said...

My goodness...I am consistently inspired by you.

MR said...

Thanks for the IM convo you had with me earlier. It was an encouragement to me and definitely one good way to use your time when you have solitude!

You said, "I've given up hope on being an uber-prominent blogger who posts everyday". Somehow that reminds me of my friend "Justin" a few years ago after a disappointment who said "I am NOT The Man." He then went on to succeed in ways he hadn't even thought of before.

Jay said...

Brian: Flattered that you linked to my post, and humbled that you found this rambling helpful in any way. Thanks. :)

Kurt: Well, I guess in the apartments you have your own room anyway. Besides, I wouldn't like to live in a single apartment. The roommates who are moving down in August are all close friends, so it's gonna be a blast living with them.

Otrolado: Well, that's very humbling. Thank you. You're quite the inspiration yourself. :)

MR: Yep, I've found I've had lots of good conversations over the past few days, with RL friends and online. And who knows? Maybe I will become that uber-prominent blogger all on my own.

Brady said...

"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."

Jay- you're definitely not alone on this one. That describes me to a T!