On being by myself sometimes

This is why I follow so many blogs, why I like to surround myself (if only virtually) with all sorts of people:

And what I mean is that I find so many clever things like this video, so many wonderful ideas like this poem, so many beautiful people like this woman.

And this video made me understand that I had forgotten how to be alone.

Like last night I was restless and did not know what to do with myself. In itself this was not strange - the nagging feeling that I should be doing something is a part of my creative process.

No rest for the wicked.

On further introspection, what I was feeling was the unrelenting desire for company. After being out all Saturday with a whole lot of people, and spending most of Sunday with Greg, I was ill at ease being with just myself again. And then I realized that this was the exact same thing I felt on Friday night: home early and no one else in the flat, listening to dubstep mixes all by my lonesome, I wanted to be somewhere else so bad that I sent Jason an uncommon email asking him to drinks, and when it was already 10 PM and he hadn't replied, I decided to go to Malate and then changed my mind about it a couple of times, a hundred times until it was midnight and I fell asleep because I was tired.

There was a time when I never had to feel this way. I was perfectly happy to be home alone and loll on my bed and read a book any day of the week. Even on a Friday night. I didn't care that no one ever invited me to go out on Saturdays (actually I did but I prefer to remember this part of my life another way). I was content and I wrote a lot of poems.

And then things gradually changed; and this transformation was so subtle (or I was just not paying attention) that my profile on planetromeo still declared that I was "more of " a homebody when I partied every weekend. I still imagined that I spent quiet Sunday afternoons reading or writing when in truth I sleep through Sunday with a hangover.

Francis and Maurice enjoy a hot bath.*
None of which is a bad thing, really. My introversion is not something that I particularly want to hold on to. I like to believe that I am versatile well-rounded. In any case, I need to be more sociable and charismatic because I want to be successful in life. And my definition of success involves impressing people, persuading them to follow me, and whatever else it is that leaders do.

But I digress. My point is just that I haven't really given me some alone time recently. Even when I'm alone there are hundreds of voices in my head. Aside from the one that narrates my life to myself, there's people online telling me what they think about things I don't care about, and on top of that there's James Franco telling me not to be scared.

I won't be, James. I won't be scared of being by myself anymore.

* Photo from Graviton Creations.


  1. I like the photo "evil plans don't come up..." made me smile.

    I like that you're versatile, este well-rounded. LOL.

  2. What is it like to be alone, Drew? Are we ever really alone, or are we at the end of it, always alone?


  3. Thanks for introducing me to Tanya Davis.
    My favorite lines:
    'Dance like no ones watching because they are probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions'

    And if James Franco tells me not to be scared, I'd believe him too

  4. Carrie, actually, I am neither versatile nor well-rounded. I'm all edges and sharp corners. :P

    Kane, it is not as lonely as one would think. It is sitting in a church at 4 o' clock on Wednesday, mute sunlight lighting the dust motes swirling above the pew in front of you.

    Orallyours, mine is the one after that: "The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after-all, gorgeous and affecting."

  5. "...People online telling me what they think about things I don't care about..."

    Hahaha. No comment (na nga).

  6. Drew, I didn't say it is lonely =)
    I was curious at the thought of whether we are always alone, or whether we are never alone. Just a thought really.


  7. Kane, two absolutes don't make much of a choice. Although if one of your propositions were true, I hope it is the former. Never being alone sounds like hell. It must be the reason why people with MPD are crazy! :)

  8. But you know I care about you Jace. ;)

  9. magsasabi ka kasi kung pupunta kang malate! isang tumbling ko lang yun o. haha

  10. Haha. I guess we are sometimes alone, sometimes not. =)

    I enjoy reading your entries Drew. Have we seen each other in Malate?

  11. The video was deeply moving. A lot of what was mentioned echoes my sentiments when it comes to solitude. For I am, by nature, a solitary spirit. I find comfort in reflection and how life perennially continues despite my passive observing of it.

    Although there are days I wished I had someone to share my solitude with, but for the most part my books are sufficient company. Them and coffee and cigarettes, or music. Always amidst the urban milieu. There is beauty in how one can be so immersed in the dynamism of the city, yet be pleasantly pristine and introspective.

    Maybe this is why I enjoy commuting so much.

  12. The most idle times we have being alone, the most work our mind does.

  13. Even when we're alone, are we ever really?

    ooh and a lolcat!!!

  14. Arkin, sige next time mapadaan ako dun itetext kita. Ay wait, I don't have your number pala!

    Kane, I am glad you enjoy my blog. If we had seen each other before, I don't think we would have recognized who the other was! :)

    Red, what you say is true, there is a certain pleasure in being quiet when all else is loud.

    Guyrony, idle hands are the Devil's tools!

    Nyl, ikaw, I don't think you're ever alone. Hahaha. Gotta love them lolcats yes?

  15. Oh, I'd welcome a James Franco voice inside my head any time of the day. Even if (and probably more so) if he's just moaning.

    The video is exquisite, by the way. Reminds me of Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen and Losing Haringey, when words, spoken, become so much more. How it was said was only secondary to what was, of course. There was so much in the clip that I was able to hold on to. For example:

    "Lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it."

    There was a time, not so long ago, that these words were my world. I was—and to a certain extent, still is—a recluse. There is a certain peace, a certain early morning clarity, in that abandon that is not hard to live with, once you look past the loneliness.