Monday, June 10, 2013

Solitude Was Like A Purification

"When you get to the reception, you're fired." Encouraging words from our wedding emcee, Beth. She'll have the event under control, she explains. Our job is to stay in the moment and have fun. What a selling point. Forget about the songlist, music is just the functional benefit. What you're paying for is the freedom to not to think. To be able to enjoy your own party. If more entrepreneurs positioned their services in this value-added way, nobody would go out of business. 

"Solitude was like a purification." To a certain extent, yes. There is something cleansing about being alone. Especially when you're communing with nature. Solitude restores body and mind. But after about two hours, solitude starts to degenerate into loneliness. We start to feel like something's missing. And if we don't proactively forge meaningful connections with other people to lift us back up, before we know it, we're alone in a corner of a restaurant with our earbuds in, eating a double bacon cheeseburger, feeling sorry for ourselves. Inspired by a woman who paints in the cold.

"Trying to paint his masterpiece by beating a blue ball against a concrete wall." I’m enchanted by any occasion an artist takes to express how they interact with the world. Like this article about Joe, the trash talking handball player. He proves that any activity, any passion, any meaningful endeavor––paid or unpaid––can be approached with a sense of craftsmanship and mastery. So cool.

"Battling your antisocial tendencies." Here's the stark difference between being a freelancer and being an employee. One is a life of solitude punctuated by moments of connection, the other is a life of connection punctuated by moments of solitude. I spent a decade doing the former. The problem is, I'm a textbook extrovert. I get my energy from interacting with other humans. And while networking events, virtual lunches, coffee meetings and coworking spaces kill the hunger for a few hours, ultimately, I still had to go back home to my living room and stare at the wall for most of the day. Fuck that noise. Thank god I found a way to flip the funnel. These days, that brand aloneness doesn't show up that often, so when it does, it's kind of nice.

"Drink big cups of toxins and head to work in soulless skyscrapers." It's both trendy and tempting to demonize the corporate lifestyle. Especially if you're standing on your own two entrepreneurial feet. But how do we know these people hate their jobs? How do we know they're unhappy? Maybe they modified their expectations. Maybe they took a stable, boring job so their spouse could follow their passion. Maybe they sucked it up so they could provide a better life for their children. Hey man. People do what they have to do.