So I decided to time off and be quiet for three days. As I type out this draft on my phone, it has only been 24 hours and I am going crazy. I have walked, slept, read and prayed. But I am terrified of being alone around so much quiet and the fact has never been as obvious to me as it is now.
I’m measuring out how much I eat and the quality of my meals. No junk. And I’m offline. Meaning no chats, text messages or calls. I’m starting to understand, just a little bit, the punishment behind solitary confinement. The hardest part, funny enough, is not being able to listen to Michael Bublé. Someone please tell this man that I just might be in love with him. Really. And for the first time in a while, I am glad for the occasional blare of music from noisy neighbours. Like putting on lingerie for no particular reason when you’re home alone, the FM hits are some of the highlights of my day.
Naturally, I’m also going a little crazy with all the time I have to my thoughts. It has become painfully obvious that I am battling anxiety and the need to fill my head with sounds – music and binge watching whatever intriguing series I can find and rewatching (for likely the 10th time or more) Sleeping with Other People – just so I won’t think.
And what am I so afraid of? Loneliness. Failure. Getting left behind. Because I haven’t yet received an email from the school I applied to for a masters program in Europe. Because the path of my relationship is at a fork and I must soon decide which way to go and I haven’t the slightest idea which way would be the best to go. Because I have been out of work for two months and all the free time and writer’s block and the realization that everyone else is busy with their own lives is eating away at me in large chunks.
I have a personal time limit for writing too so I’ll report back in 24 hours. Wish me luck!
I broke the code. I’m back. It has been almost 4 hours since I got into my very warm bed and I’m still awake. I have sung hymns and talked to myself and gotten up to dust the guitar bag (which was likely the only seriously dusty item in my entire house), I have walked out into the cold in just my top and panties to get some fresh air and comb my hair, I have trimmed my hair with kitchen scissors, I have considered going into town to get a muffin or ice cone, I have played back every interesting conversation I have had in my head over the past several weeks and hours.
I think it’s finally safe to say that I am on the verge of insanity. And it isn’t midnight yet!
I barely slept last night. It follows that I was groggy most of the morning.
Thankfully, I had church in a small intimate community and it lasted all day. I even shared about how hooked I’ve been to my phone and what a struggle it has been to be offline. And I made a new friend.
I am super grateful for human contact, the great tasting leftovers I’m having for dinner, fried eggs, sunshine that is lovely enough to make you slow your pace so it can warm your soul, bananas, my house (in spite of the cold and less-than-ideal access to natural light), a good night’s rest, and answered prayers.
See you on the other side. Which, I hope is in 24 hours.
I made it!
In all honesty, I lost it at about 3 a.m. and decided to listen to a TED NPR podcast on happiness. And then I was a little sleepy at 4 a.m. so I slept through the morning.
I went out walking and met an old neighbour who introduced me to a current neighbour who also has issues with how cold her house is and the appearance of mold during the cold season (June and July in Nairobi and its environs). So I’m putting it out there that I want a warmer house with lots of natural light.
What I like the most about this time away is how much more at ease I am without my gadgets. And that a blackout would not kill me; even though I’m charging my LED torch battery and planning to buy a couple of club candles. Also, I’m done with supper by 7 p.m. and eating more fruit because I see some while I’m out, I’m getting more sun and keeping physically active, and I have started to have those internal monologues going again instead of lots of noise and panic.
However, I am so very glad to have Michael Bublé back. Try it sometime. Unplug for a weekend and see how amazing you’ll feel at the end.
P.S. Your body will probably scream about not having your earphones plugged in or your about cellphone being off in the first few hours, but hang in there.