I recently purchased this book called 642 Things to Write About. It’s like a journal, but it includes a line or two of written words that are meant to inspire creative writing. I started this blog as a way to practice photojournalism, to get out in my surroundings and report life around me. I enjoy living behind the shutter, but in the hurried rush of daily living, I was missing stuff. Now I have an excuse to stop and take photographs of anything and everything, because I never know what I’m going to want to write about later. I also really enjoy writing, but sometimes I just don’t go anywhere worth writing about. Since an uneventful week could potentially prevent me from posting, I thought I’d mix up styles.
My very first blog that was inspired by this book was ‘Dear Stranger’. I was instructed to write a letter to a stranger, talking about the things I’d learned in life. It was a very enlightening post to write, and I suppose it’s the reason why I wanted to return to these pages and fill in another one. Though these types of posts aren’t really photojournalistic in style, I love both photography and writing, so it makes sense that whatever inspires me within those passions will be a part of this.
Today, I flipped through all the empty lines to be filled in this book and I found 3 interesting words in a small blank box:
GOING IT ALONE
I read those words twice. Once, I read them for my head. Then I read them again, for my heart. As a mom who is home with two boys and one very young puppy, alone sounds good to my mind. Alone sounds quiet and it sounds relaxing. It sounds like a refreshing respite from the norm.
In my heart, though, I think of my entire life without those boys. Without that puppy. Without my husband. Without family or friends. Just truly and utterly alone. Suddenly it sounds sad. It sounds lonely. It sounds devoid of life.
I know I’d never want to go anything momentous alone. A solitary trip to the spa; that’s restful. A trip to the doctor because of abnormal test results; terrifying. That’s why we need people. We need other human beings around us to give us comfort and love, to make us laugh and to help us appreciate life, to keep us grounded and to give us focus. Can people be mean? They sure can be. Even when we love others and others love us, there is still pain to be had. Feelings can be hurt. Hearts can be broken. Relationships can fall apart. Should we still risk our hearts to develop those relationships? Absolutely.
Today was a hard day. Today was one of those days where I really just wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to tell the dog for the 100th time to stop chewing the sticks she kept finding. I didn’t want to stand outside my youngest son’s door as he kicked it repeatedly in a raging tantrum because he didn’t want the lunch I’d made him. I didn’t want to deal with the sassy tone of my oldest son, who had an unexpected attitude because I’d simply asked him why he was outside without shoes on. I didn’t want to walk the dog, break up fighting siblings or feed the rabbit. I didn’t want to do any of the things I normally had to do. I just wanted to sit in complete and utter silence, maybe read a book, just to escape for a little while.
Then I thought of the other side of alone. I thought of the loneliness. I thought of how loud the silence would be. I may want peace every once in awhile. I may want quiet and time to be with my own thoughts. Yes, it’s easier to clean a house when no one else is around to run behind you, messing it all up. But I still crave companionship. I still need friends and family, because going it alone would be a lonely existence indeed.
So despite the emotional toll of the day, I had to hold on, I had to keep going. Eventually, Noah went to school, Thomas took a nap and Beauty fell asleep curled up on her blanket. I had quiet. I had peace. I was alone. It was nice. It was refreshing. Now everyone is in better spirits, and honestly…I’m glad I’m not always alone.