I know, I’ve been gone.
Have you ever been a college student? Have I mentioned it enough? That I am a college student? It’s time consuming.
I love being alone. (Sometimes.) But it’s not the mere fact that I’m alone, that I’m left alone or some moody, “emo” sentiment like that. Rather, it’s being anonymous.
Among a large crowd, by myself in a full coffee shop, shopping solo among hundreds of patrons…that feeling is so wonderful to me.
Like, if my life was a Bruegal painting…
…I’d wanna be this guy…
…tucked up in his little tower, among the humans but not necessarily known!
Really, I almost love being unknown to people more than I like being known to them, basking in the possibilities of who I could be to them.
Do I intrigue them?
Do they even notice me?
And vice versa: I’m so interested in strangers–who are they?
Perhaps I’ll be struck by the poignance of someone’s posture as they wait in line, perhaps I’ll admire the bright eyes of a baby in one of those strange sling things parents wrap around themselves, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…
Watching the world flow around me is inexplicably pleasurable to me, like breathing fresh air after having been cooped up all day. Like having wind off of water twirl the strands around my face: a delicate, soft sort of happiness, one that takes time to root.
One is more aware of oneself when caught in the gaze of a stranger. The spine is straighter, the walk is wide and prominent, and the eyes challenge, saying you don’t know me, I stand my ground.
Is this a strange primal thing I do or perceive?
Maybe you think I’m insane to think so deeply about the way I hold myself to others, but I’m almost certain that any businessperson-who-gives-advice-for-success (“get like me!”) would confirm that the way in which you present yourself is closely tied to how others perceive you and how you understand yourself.
(Though it is my belief that if you need a self-help book for it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.)
((It may depend on what skill we’re talking about however: sewing versus charisma is quite a disparity between inherent skill and hard work.))
(((This is a topic deserving of its own post.)))
Think of how exciting this is: you can affect the way people are affected by you, even in passing. Look them in the eyes. Maybe they’ll walk away dumbfounded.
So I encourage you to indulge in anonymity, to indulge in your own status as a stranger and in other’s “strangeness”, so to speak.
I promise it will be rewarding, plus it won’t feel as isolating as a night watching Netflix alone, which is necessary at times, but also horribly unproductive. You can tell when four hours later, the guilt drops in your stomach as you hunch over your piles of homework.
Maintain I Remain,