Sunday, September 5, 2021

A Surplus of Solitude


This blog is chock full of endless references to my utter love for time alone. I've always been someone who requires an incessant amount of retreat & recharging. If life was like a dating profile where I'm asked to define myself in offensively small boxes, 'independent' would without a doubt be the first word come to come to mind. I've lived alone for quite a long time, traveled alone, and grew up an only child with strong skills in self entertainment. 

The thing is.. the last 14+ years I wasn't really living alone. I always had the companionship of my sweet baby dog Macaroni. My heartbeat outside my body, dictating our daily schedule and providing a constant sense of presence and camaraderie. Life is vastly different without him. 

Appraising Eagle Peak

This newfangled sense of loneliness didn't start with his passing though. It definitely began with quarantine. Pre-pandemic I was an avid proponent of both working from home and long stretches of solitude. Welp, the pendulum swings always- if we can count on nothing else in life, we can surely count on that. In the past two months I've been more restless and lonely than ever before. I've taken to working in coffee shops and cafes again, willing to pay my way in caffeine and pastry fees just to be around other humans. At times I feel completely stir crazy.

I even took on a second job bartending at the local tap house. I've loved meeting so many of my neighbors and chatting with regulars but I'm avidly searching for a place to live in Tacoma. At this moment my browser has open tabs on Zillow, Apartments.com, and Craigslist. 

Life is full of moments where we fortuitously change our minds. What we want or need can shift so drastically that we feel like imposters in our own lives. If I've learned anything in my thirties it's to NEVER SAY NEVER. Life/the universe/the all/God has a way of laughing at us when we make definitive statements. Irony seems to be the language of the divine. Though I said time and time again that I'd never move back to the city I'm now trying to stake a claim in the closest metropolis south of Seattle. I miss my people! I don't want to spend another Winter out here alone-this time for real for real, without Macaroni's company.

Tahoma from the Eagle Peak saddle

“Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” 

-Paulo Coelho

Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend the day hiking with Claire after way too long apart. We climbed to the saddle of Eagle Peak at Rainier- one of the most challenging trails I've done in awhile. It was blissful to get outside with a dear friend and to not be left to my own devices. More of that good good friend time to come this week as I depart on the annual Takhlakh Lake camping trip tomorrow! Time with our chosen tribe is truly the most life affirming medicine.

Claire    

Trail Specs:

7.2 miles

2910 ft. elevation gain

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