Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hang Out Type: Solo

When the hang out blog was first birthed I wondered if I could pull it off because honestly I don't hang out all that much in comparison to other folks I know.  However, I do know how to chill and succumbed to being some sort of expert in hanging.  This post is about hanging out and being ALONE. Alone not lonely- loneliness hits me rarely but I quickly suck it up (literally because I am probably smoking a cigarette) and get on with it because I'll remember something out of some Buddhist book I read about how accepting how we are truly alone is the shit and I kinda agree with them.  I like to spend time being Alone Gloria, a phrase coined recently by an associate to describe times he noticed I just genuinely have no desire to be around a single soul.  Hanging out can certainly happen alone, because hanging out is not about social-ness per se but intentionality in an activity or time spent.  Being Alone Gloria has been put aside for a minute now between house guests, trips, birthdays, not weddings/weddings, random events, general spirit questing and my need to check in with a set list of friends who reside here in the city on a more or less bi weekly basis (to make sure everything is running by some internal standard of peace and order). Also, I intentionally avoid feeling lonely like I avoid feeling love sick because I believe those feelings will inevitably lead to trying to fill up a perceived empty space with any random bobo* or just unfulfilling individual.  With bobos comes boboness and really who has time for that shit? Even more of a reason for solo time to have intention in spending time with yourself as opposed to a reaction against others or the world in general.

Last night five mile walked it on a very chilly but lovely night over the Brooklyn Bridge (finally) zig zagging all the way up to 42nd trying to show my friend Joe (first timer to the city) my favorite aspects of the Manhattan skyline and scenic avenues. Jaunts through Manhattan always make me fall in love again with New York.  This city has made me mature in a new way, my life here forcing me to be in a state of solitude at school, in work, and at home.  Having come of age in several small town tight knit punk scenes, this transition into adulthood over the last few years on my own in academia were a little tough.  Here in this city of millions you have to turn lonely to alone or you won't quite pull through.   This shit is about survival and once you're surviving here you realize you have it in you and you've had it in you all along.  Much of my first intentional alone time here in NYC has been long walks (mostly through my old beautiful hood of Washington Heights) because there is just so much to see.  Asides from long walks I will throw in the occasional movie, museum visit or class (took a First Aid class in January that was hilariously entertaining for me).  You get to interact with other people, strangers as momentary friends, but not within the context of a pre-existing relationship but just as yourself.  Too much time with others makes my alone time about being too depleted and exhausted to do much of anything but stare at a screen.  As much as I enjoy catching up on Walking Dead I'd rather be being slightly more productive with some letter writing, drawing, or physical activity.  So it is important to schedule those alone hang outs just as much as it is to schedule time for your family and friends.   In the end being comfortable hanging out with yourself is inherent to hanging out with others.  Strength in self is what is the base for positively fostering any dynamic between yourself and another human.

What do you like to do alone?

*Bobo-in Spanish silly/stupid/foolish.  In Southern Glorianese-kinda someone who is all of those things but maybe also a selfish ass.

New black and white photos courtesy of my friend Tate.

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