It's beautiful to be alone.
Inertia — Nº147
It’s beautiful to be alone. To be alone doesn’t mean to be lonely. It means the mind isn’t influenced and contaminated by society.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti
You’ve made it to another year. And if you take away one thing from reading this, I want this to be it.
I’m nearing four years of writing essays — which I still can’t believe. I no longer remember the feeling of conviction I had that made me start, but I’m eternally thankful for it. I’ve continued on with what I love, which has meant more and more to me as time passes. Writing has been one of my greatest teachers of self-authorship because you learn that other people cannot dictate what you love or how you live your day. And then, once you know what answers these questions, you start learning to work with your hands, heart, and mind — and that’s what makes an artist.
During those four years, I’ve thought more and more about two things: equanimity and momentum.
Equanimity is where all is still, where no winds blow. Peace reigning in the eye of any storm. When you stand balanced atop the high wire, neither leaning left or right. It feels like you’re floating. Rested calmly in the present. Wanting nothing because you lack nothing.
Momentum is the surge of energy carrying you forward, like a well-oiled drivetrain or hub letting you freewheel as easy as circles ripple through water. It’s motion begetting more motion. What is created when inspiration strikes like lightning igniting a blaze of ideas that feeds itself. Ever building, like swirling gusts and vortexes that fill your sails and guide you forwards.
I love both ideas, and I feel them most when I write. On top of it is an anchoring sense of solitude which has helped me countless times over the years. I’m not lonely — I have more loving people in my life than I could ask for. Rather, I’m more aware of the silent ownership I have over myself to love the way life is while dictating it. Because of this, solitude is, in fact, beautiful and agentic.
2023 saw me revisit old roads, towns and villages I used to get lost in as a kid falling in love with his bike for the first time. Importantly, I felt a love for solitude then, as I did when I ventured on four or five-hour road trips through the UK and Europe. When I’d wander in dormant forests packed with pleasant elevation and rich air. When I’d spend time with loved ones. Or when I’d walk through my home town and reminisce about what used to be different.
Willingness to change is important to me, and I finally feel little to no fear of the implications. I started new habits long before the new year because my aversion to “resolutions” has grown substantially. Life isn’t a tickbox exercise or series of finish lines. I care more about process and learning to love the linear, non-linear, and exponential. So I enjoy writing more than publishing. Reading more than putting down a finished book. Doing hard exercise more than completing it. And enjoying any conversation more than waiting for it to end.
In the previous essay, I explained a conversation with a long-time friend about minding what you carry through each year in your metaphorical suitcase. If your whole life was in this case, would you take everything with you and bear the weight of it all, or would you remove a few things for good?
Change means letting go of things we’ve been holding on to for long enough. It’s hard, but when you hit the wall or drag your feet, what other way can you implement and commit to a better self without addressing the elephant in the room?
Doing less, better, has always been my mantra. Because expansion, focus, change, growth, and going fast and slow, all need us to know what definitively matters to us; our time is not for everyone and everything.
There’s still a lot I need to learn, but what I can appreciate is momentum. I like it in other people and know it also needs to be a part of me. What I do know is process and expansion matter more to me than results. And during 2024, motion will learn to coexist with restfulness.
Before, all I could think about was what was missing. Now, that worry has left my suitcase. And I know good things will happen when I trust that what I have is enough, and the positive feedback loop can keep ticking.
Happy New Year.