Opee and I went to Forest Park couple of days ago for a hike. It was the middle of the week, and I was lucky enough to get some days off, so off we went on an adventure. The beautiful thing about hiking in the middle of the week here in Oregon is that no one else is on the trail. We have not met a single person, and it was wonderful.
I love solitude. I need solitude. It is almost impossible to get real solitude in Oregon. You are always surrounded by people: at work, on a commute, on the trails. There are always people around you. Portland is not made for people seeking alone time. It is built to enjoy the company of others, mostly through food. It could be argued that there is very little to do in Portland than go out to eat and drink. Of course, it is not entirely accurate, just seem like it. But back to solitude…
Lond time ago I watched a documentary on PBS. I don’t remember all that the documentary was about or its title but one thing that has stuck with me and was a very much a defining moment of who I am today is an interview with a guy whose name I also don’t remember, but I can recollect with great clarity what he said. He said that to live life to the fullest you have to be not afraid to be alone. It was a revelational moment for me. Until that interview, I felt uncomfortable and to some degree scorned for choosing to live alone. What he said had helped me to see it in a different light, to validate my urge to isolate myself from people on a somewhat frequent basis.
Now, I have a lot of friends, and my friends are my family. They are wonderful, and I love them all, and when we are together, I cherish every moment. But I need breaks. I need to be by myself to recompose, to ground myself, and to think. Think about everything from mundane happenings at work to what it means to be happy. Think about this world which I have to admit as I grow older I understand less and less, know less and less. And maybe it is a cap out to be in your bubble, but it is what gets me through the day, looking forward to being by myself with my dog by my side exploring the nature and deep in my own thoughts.