Time for Solitude

One thing I realized as I started working away from home is that I actually liked and appreciated being A-L-O-N-E.

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You know when you watch these coming of age movies and see this independent protagonist, who btw, also happens to be an outcast loser weave his way through the cafeteria only to be judged and mocked by all these other kids who are so full of themselves, and you think, “why wasn’t I as brave as this kid when I was in elementary (or HS even)?” Some would ask, “Why am I not still brave enough now that I’m freakin’ turning 100?”. Wehhh OA!

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I wasn’t an outcast loser back when I used to wear my checkered uniform, but I also wasn’t the popular kid, and I have to say, back then, I dreaded being alone.

I couldn’t go down to our school canteen without anyone to accompany me. I feared not having anyone to talk to on the way to our school gymnasium for first Friday masses with the entire school. Heck, I even feared going to the restroom alone, but for way scarier reasons, if you know what I mean! 😛

Like most people, I grew up caring so much about what others thought about me. I guess, it’s part of growing up. You have to look good, smell nice. You have to do well in class. You have to have Jansport backpacks. CHOS! And most importantly, you can’t be seen alone, because people will feel sorry for you. WRONG!!!!

I used to hate being alone, but no so much anymore.

When I broke up with my ex, it felt weird to be shopping alone or eating alone, but it wouldn’t take long before I got used to the feeling. I started feeling comfortable doing things on my own. I carried my gigantic bags. I sit in coffee shops alone. I go to church alone (although my eyes still well up at the sight of families holding hands and kissing in church). I even go on roadtrips alone!

I started enjoying the feeling of being able to go wherever because you don’t have to consider what your companion has in mind. All decisions are up to you. It doesn’t matter if you change your mind faster than you blink your eyes, you have no one else to blame but yourself, and it’s okay!

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I like being alone on most days. In fact, I enjoy being alone. It’s a breath of fresh air. It makes you think out loud, yet it also silences the mind. You get to clear your head, talk to God, be mindful of the beautiful things that you have taken for granted.

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You also get to be grateful for the chance to have time all to yourself. It’s time that can never be lived again. It’s time that you will crave for on chaotic days. It’s your escape on negativity. It’s your time to rest and set everything aside. It’s your time to spread your wings on top of a hill while feeling the breeze through your hair without caring what other people also on the same hill think about you. 😛 Life doesn’t get any better than that, so cherish every moment that you’re alone. It’s a blessing in disguise.

Time alone also made me realize all thaaaaat! O diba? May kagandahan sa pag-e-emote! 😛

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With all these goodness spilling over from having that well-needed solitude, I am slowly learning to stop caring about what other people think of me. I can never have control over that. I try to focus instead on what God thinks of me, which is waaay more important than what anyone else thinks of me.

Plus, I also got to take lots of photos in my me-time!

 

xoxo,

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Inspiration & Creativity

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Where do you usually get your inspiration from?

If someone cornered you and suddenly put you on the spot today and asked you this, what would your answer be?

Would you say, from God? from the greatest people that ever lived? from your family? from those geniuses that brought forth innovation and changes to the world?

or perhaps from a song that touched your deepest core (it’s redundant, isn’t it?)? or maybe from a great work of art, a movie that leaves you on the edge of your seat, a moving speech, a blog article?

While all of those are true and would probably be my answers too to that jerk who would be responsible for my sudden death due to a ruptured aneurysm triggered by him popping out of nowhere and cornering me just to ask this question (ang wild ng imagination!), I would like to say that well, God is first and foremost where I get my inspiration from, because after all, everything I mentioned right after Him came from Him. But that’s a given.

Also a given is my family, friends, loved ones or those people who go out of their way to help other people by all means, including their jobs, their creative work, their passion etc.

But had you asked me today, well, right before I wrote this entry, to be specific, I would probably say from the writers on MEDIUM. If you don’t have an account on this site yet, I suggest you make one. It will change your life forever.

Well, I might have exaggerated that last statement more than I should have. Though, I still have to say, signing up on Medium has got to be one of those precious “end-of-life-as-I-know-it” moments of my existence (not an exaggeration).

It’s not much different from Buzzfeed or Thought Catalog, except that I learn loads from Medium in terms of real life lessons supported by studies and research and experience, more thought provoking insights which don’t just circle around break ups and moving on, and perhaps more inspiration to get you moving or to put into action whatever you just read because you know that apart from your emotions, your thoughts have also been fired up! In fact, they even have articles that share the top sites where you can sign up for free online courses, articles that give tips on how to write more effectively and even articles that suggest great apps for productivity!

One more thing I like about Medium is it made me want to read more and not just more, but more substantial articles, which in turn made me want to write more, hence this uber long blog post.

I’m not saying that the other similar sites don’t offer such articles and don’t have such creative geniuses, because a lot would probably disagree, but I really want to stress on the fact that I get way more of these from Medium. Anyway, before this turns into a promotional entry, which it isn’t, I’d like to share 2 articles I read today that really inspired me to:

  1. Go after what I really want, and
  2. Become more introspective and self-aware to delve into what sparks creativity right within ourselves/myself

I won’t go far in explaining what the articles are about (although by the looks of it, I think I already have). You can read them yourselves. The first one being, “Give Yourself Something to Pursue” by Thomas Oppong. Judging by the title itself, you can already assume that it is a motivational/inspirational article, and a good one at that. Oppong authored lots of similarly moving articles which is why I’ve subscribed to his Postanly newsletter and followed him on Medium. He’s one of the best writers I’ve discovered, and I’m glad I did because his works are hands downs, my absolute pick-me-ups especially in troublesome, inspiration-less days.

And did I say that there’s an option for you to highlight words, statements or even paragraphs that you feel like saving, to read for later or to go back to in the future? Because there is. I did highlight quite a lot on this article alone because dayuummm, like what I said on the comment section, I really think that everything is “highlightable”. It’s either that good, or I’m just too emotional.

The other article I was talking about earlier (which is one of the recommended articles at the end of Oppong’s) is Jory MacKay‘s “Is solitude the secret to unlocking our creativity?. It is quite a lot to take in, a lot of Pyschological stuff, which made it more interesting, if you’re into that.

It mainly discussed how the creative process works inside our brains and how creativity is produced/stimulated through certain periods of……ten-nen-ten-nen-nen…, you guessed it right and it wasn’t even given away in the title earlier,”SOLITUDE“!! It also pointed out a lot of supporting discoveries by creativity researchers (which I think is a really great job btw), one of which I really liked, Graham Wallas‘ take on the creativity process that involved 4 steps: Preparation, INCUBATION (period of solitude), Illumination (the Eureka moment, which wouldn’t be possible if there wasn’t an Incubation period), and Verification.

I also liked the fact that creative thinkers were concluded to be BOTH “more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, occasionally crazier yet adamantly saner, than the average person”. Ang gulo diba? Those are a lot of extremes!

Creative thinkers/geniuses were also concluded to have “an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for ambiguity and complexity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray”. We have Frank X. Barron to thank for coming up with these conclusions.

I find it quite comforting to know that there is an explanation for my tolerance for disorder. You see, I’ve always believed that artists are messy, so I’ve often pictured their desks to be chaotic, but nonetheless still very conducive to creativity. This is one reason why I appreciated this article very much. I mean, just look at my workplace below:

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There there! I told you it’s a lot to take in, but isn’t it worth the read? Anyway, if you noticed, I emphasized INCUBATION above. If I got it right, it is the most crucial step in the creative process, hence the title of MacKay’s article.

Wallas said that this is when the you let the unconscious take over the creative process. You let go and let the brain be. Isn’t God the greatest for creating our brain in such a powerful way that it can work without you having to give it commands? So basically, this period of rest, solitude, letting go or whatever you may want to call it, is significant because as MacKay pointed out, “letting go of your consciousness lets the deeper parts of your mind come in and make connections.”

Therefore, it is important for us to practice controlling our unconscious mind because this is how our brains develop or formulate the world’s greatest ideas. This is how the brain builds up to that certain point where the imaginary bulb lights up in our brains, and makes you cry out, EUREEEEEKA!!!!

There you go! That was my reaction paper for one of the most thought-provoking and another for one of the most moving articles I’ve read. Rume-reaction paper talaga! Gutom lang to!

So Imma go have my lunch now and maybe practice meditating so I can set out into the world to pursue my dream! Boy, these articles sure make a big and deep impact on my crazy brain!

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