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An Introverts Manifesto
July 30, 2010 3:10 PM   Subscribe

How to be alone. [SLYT]
posted by Taft (101 comments total) 189 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Resist the urge to hang with your cell phone."

AMEN.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:22 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Thank you.
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:23 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was great, but I couldn't help but notice the irony that this was created by a group of people. It would've been satisfying if the credits were just one name over and over.
posted by defenestration at 3:23 PM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, Tanya Davis.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:24 PM on July 30, 2010


Also, Jonathan Franzen.
posted by The Bellman at 3:27 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Heh, I was gonna mention Franzen too. Great book.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:30 PM on July 30, 2010


When I was young we didn't overthink being alone. We were just alone. Now it's a thing, just like everything's a thing.
posted by found missing at 3:30 PM on July 30, 2010 [50 favorites]


It's lonely out here on your lawn, found missing.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:32 PM on July 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


Loneliness, like sleep, can wait until I'm dead.
posted by wcfields at 3:35 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been alone a lot the last few years, have had episodes of feeling extra lonely, but because I've been alone so much I usually feel comfortable with it - it can actually be fantastic, and healing like the poem mentioned.

Some people seem to fear being alone, and let's not get into people who fear silence. I wonder why this is? Growing up a single child, did I perhaps become more prepared for it? Do people who grow up in multiple-sibling families become less prepared for loneliness?

Anywho, beautiful post. Favorite+
posted by pyrex at 3:35 PM on July 30, 2010


I needed this.
posted by swift at 3:36 PM on July 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


Really beautiful. Thank you Taft. Her voice really makes it too. So warm.
posted by catchingsignals at 3:41 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I doubt anything will.
posted by Optamystic at 3:42 PM on July 30, 2010


I grew up with four siblings, and don't like living alone. However, I do need alone time. When my girlfriend and I are working the same schedule, it gets hard to arrange, especially since she doesn't seem to need it. Fortunately, she sleeps in a lot later than I do, and that's generally enough time to keep me level-headed.

I do miss lone travel, though. When you travel by yourself, you see a lot more, you talk to more people, and you can be completely spontaneous about your very next step.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:42 PM on July 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Vers de Société
by Philip Larkin [1974]

My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps
To come and waste their time and ours: perhaps
You'd care to join us? In a pig's arse, friend.
Day comes to an end.
The gas fire breathes, the trees are darkly swayed.
And so Dear Warlock-Williams: I'm afraid -

Funny how hard it is to be alone.
I could spend half my evenings, if I wanted,
Holding a glass of washing sherry, canted
Over to catch the drivel of some bitch
Who's read nothing but Which;
Just think of all the spare time that has flown

Straight into nothingness by being filled
With forks and faces, rather than repaid
Under a lamp, hearing the noise of wind,
And looking out to see the moon thinned
To an air-sharpened blade.
A life, and yet how sternly it's instilled

All solitude is selfish. No one now
Believes the hermit with his gown and dish
Talking to God (who's gone too); the big wish
Is to have people nice to you, which means
Doing it back somehow.
Virtue is social. Are, then, these routines

Playing at goodness, like going to church?
Something that bores us, something we don't do well
(Asking that ass about his fool research)
But try to feel, because, however crudely,
It shows us what should be?
Too subtle, that. Too decent, too. Oh hell,

Only the young can be alone freely.
The time is shorter now for company,
And sitting by a lamp more often brings
Not peace, but other things.
Beyond the light stand failure and remorse
Whispering Dear Warlock-Williams: Why, of course -
posted by koeselitz at 3:43 PM on July 30, 2010 [55 favorites]


Being alone and being lonely are different things, for me. I've have been terribly lonely when surrounded by people - people I knew, people who cared about me. I've been lonely when I've been alone, too, but much less often.
posted by rtha at 3:43 PM on July 30, 2010 [16 favorites]


I know this person and she is an amazing person and I am so happy to see this posted here. Here is my favourite Tanya Davis song.
posted by oulipian at 3:47 PM on July 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


Do people who grow up in multiple-sibling families become less prepared for loneliness?

Some of us crave it, and do our best to carve it out of stolen moments and hidden spaces, and relinquish it very reluctantly when we find it. Growing up in a multiple-sibling family mostly made me very good at retreating into my own head when there was absolutely no other way to be alone.
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:49 PM on July 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


How to properly be alone probably doesn't involve posting videos of yourself to the internet.
posted by xmutex at 3:51 PM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I was little, I used to ride my bike out to the far reaches of my developing neighborhood to hang out by myself in the new houses being built. Sometimes I'd take a book, but most of the time I'd climb up the not-finished stairs to the wall-less and ceiling-less second story. I'd kick aside the discarded nails and old soda cans and I'd just lie there, enjoying being alone.

You don't need some sappy poem/video to validate or glorify your choices. Just do what makes you happy.
posted by phunniemee at 3:55 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Some people seem to fear being alone, and let's not get into people who fear silence.

I recently attended a birthday party where we all particpated in a 5-minute silence circle. It was interesting to see which people liked it and which couldn't stand it.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:58 PM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


When did people stop becoming adults and start remaining super-stunted emo teenagers like this? Is it a recent development? Is it something in the water, or a byproduct of processed food? It's very worrisome.
posted by xmutex at 3:59 PM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


You don't need some sappy poem/video to validate or glorify your choices. Just do what makes you happy.

Some people are scared of being alone, and might like the encouragement. I've known people who were afraid to eat out by themselves, or go to a movie alone, or a museum, or anything, really.
posted by rtha at 3:59 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


When did people stop becoming adults and start remaining super-stunted emo teenagers like this?

early 1800s?
posted by mrgrimm at 4:00 PM on July 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

xmutex - we get it. you're too cool to like it. point made.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:00 PM on July 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


mrgrimm - no way. Byron was a badass. He ruined lives, including his own, went into massive debt, exiled himself, etc etc. You can't put Byron up against some sappy YouTube video of kitty cats and dancing. For shame.
posted by xmutex at 4:02 PM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


This week my three-year-long first relationship ended. You have no idea how much I needed to see that.

Thank you.
posted by Acey at 4:03 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow... very nice (although, the cat must be offended that it is not considered in the "being alone" equation).

When I was a kid, I used to skate on an isolated lake (not a single house on it). Frequently I would go out at night to skate alone.

One night, dead of winter, I walked the mile into the woods to the lake. The ice had melted and frozen that day, no snow, no wind... it was clear as glass. Some 45 years later I can still remember that moment...

A while back I tried to capture it... of the two pages I wrote... this little snippet (sharing my somewhat clunky prose is not something I often do) sums it up:

"The glass of the ice over the black of the water created a mirror big enough for the face of the universe. I was no longer skating on the lake, but on some mystical plane suspended, floating amongst the stars."

This couldn't have happened in a crowd....
posted by HuronBob at 4:08 PM on July 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


Thank you. Thank you.

For those of us (like me) who are introverts to the letter, we love being alone, finding it exhausting when others don't understand.

And for those of us who are heartbroken (like me), it's wonderful to be reminded that even loneliness can be beautiful.
posted by whycurious at 4:10 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


When did people stop becoming adults and start remaining super-stunted emo teenagers like this?

A better question might be: When did communicating sincerely become un-adult?
posted by oulipian at 4:10 PM on July 30, 2010 [31 favorites]


What a lovely person with lovely ideas.
posted by naju at 4:12 PM on July 30, 2010


When did people stop becoming adults and start remaining super-stunted emo teenagers like this?

Can't be more stunted than the need to piss on the ways other people find solace.
posted by catchingsignals at 4:14 PM on July 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


When I was young we didn't overthink being alone. We were just alone. Now it's a thing, just like everything's a thing.

That's the problem with everything, it is comprised of worrisome, individual things. Doesn't matter if you ignore them, they just stick around thinging up the place.
posted by Gin and Comics at 4:14 PM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


That was beautiful and sweet and surprising. Thanks so much, Taft.
posted by mediareport at 4:18 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Always made a clear distinction between (regenerative) solitude and loneliness myself.
posted by marvin at 4:24 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


'Round here, we just get lonesome. There's a difference, you know.


*goes off in search of hug*
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:32 PM on July 30, 2010


When did people stop becoming adults and start remaining super-stunted emo teenagers like this?

Probably around the time it became acceptable for adults to use hackneyed straightedge Xs in their usernames?

xHAMBURGERx

Sorry dude, could not resist that one. I tried.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:39 PM on July 30, 2010


Being alone -- solitude -- is not a mystery, nor is it an art, nor is it a social disease. It's not a sign that you have a problem that needs fixing. It's the default condition of the human race, or at least industrial society, especially now that society has become ever more fragmented and atomized. It's assuredly the default condition of the introvert. Being alone is not something to treat as a forbidding prospect, a challenge, a pain in the ass, or a source of dread. I'm alone (and on vacation) right now while my spouse, whom I miss dearly and hope eventually sees this, is visiting family 600 miles away. I'm good at being alone, and my only worry about it is that I can be too good at it. I try to fight that when I'm not alone.

Do I want to be alone permanently? Of course not, because humans are social beings and generally need each other. But when I am alone, I try to make good use of being alone, until my aloneness ends.

What a fantastic poem and video. Taft, thank you for this post.

There is another Loneliness
That many die without –
Not want of friends occasions it
Or circumstance of Lot

But nature, sometimes, sometimes thought
And whoso it befall
Is richer than could be revealed
By mortal numeral –

[Emily Dickinson]
posted by blucevalo at 4:46 PM on July 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


The best walks I have ever had were at night, alone, walking back from downtown to my residence on campus at the edge of town. Four hours of complete solitude. I met foxes, and raccoons, and skunks waddling past too busy minding their own business to pay me any mind. I heard the river rushing past, and the occasional bird call. Every once and a while a car would go past, but it didn't matter. I didn't need music, or anyone to talk to, just the night air and the rustle of the leaves.

Of course, I'm completely insane for being female and walking anywhere alone, especially at night, but no one ever bothered me. It was so peaceful. And the only negative thought is sadness that there are women who will never ever experience this, because they are too afraid to be alone.

Now I live alone, and I like it. I make the rules in the household, and I break them if I want. I go to the movies alone, I take myself out to dinner or icecream if I want, I sit on park benches and talk to strangers, or not, as I please. I have friends, and family, and I can be very social, but I decide when I want to be sociable. Its not forced upon me. I do not have to fight to be alone and quiet and peaceful. And it is glorious.

And I am perfectly good with sharing that with strangers on the internet, while alone in my apartment. Being okay with being alone isn't the same as being continually isolated 24-7.
posted by sandraregina at 4:46 PM on July 30, 2010 [16 favorites]


Upon preveiw, 'too afraid to be alone' is not meant to condemn anyone. The world can be vicious to women alone, especially at night, and being afraid is only common sense. It just saddens me that being afraid to be alone has become common sense.
posted by sandraregina at 4:49 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know this person and she is an amazing person and I am so happy to see this posted here.

I do too and I completely agree. I saw her name here and got a little giddy inside.
posted by Hiker at 4:56 PM on July 30, 2010


That was beautiful, and I really really needed that right now.

<3
posted by empath at 4:58 PM on July 30, 2010


joe lisboa: "around the time it became acceptable for adults to use hackneyed straightedge Xs"

wow I thought it was a reference to a mutex used by the x11 windowing system api
posted by idiopath at 5:00 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


The... I'm not sure how to put this. Or even whether it should be put.
The beauty...
There is a beauty...
Sometimes...
Things are shared with no-one.
And it makes them special. Because they are unique. Revealed only to you, if you will. And there is a melancholy, since the moment is special and you want to share it but you cannot. Because that is what makes it special.
So, um, yeah. Take it with you into the grave and let people wonder until their hair grows thin and their teeth fall out, where that inner glow comes from that they see in you when they look at you.
Share nothing but the mystery.
posted by eeeeeez at 5:01 PM on July 30, 2010 [14 favorites]


I'm a selfish son of a bitch. I need my extroverted time, to see the people I love and get energy and inspiration from them, and then I need my introverted time to shut them out and think about everything. And this has to be on my own schedule, or else I get pissy and frustrated. I need my alone time, until I need someone to talk to, until I need not to be bothered.

That's why maybe my favorite place on earth is being on my own in a strange city in a country that doesn't speak English. I can wander without being bothered, I can do whatever I want in my hotel room, I've got complete freedom. And then, when I want, I can find the most friendly-looking bar and walk in and find the other lonely American (and there is always one) on the same little trip that I'm on, and we can have our conversation.

And when that's done I can wander some more, on my own terms.

It's no way to live a life, but it works if you're a selfish son of a bitch about when you want to be social or not.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:11 PM on July 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


How to be alone?

Yeah, right.
posted by Relay at 5:16 PM on July 30, 2010


Acey, I'm with you. My first relationship ended a few months ago. Before I was part of a couple, I used to do things alone all the time--I enjoyed going to movies, plays, and concerts alone, and I even liked to spend Friday nights reading a novel at home (ok, fine, so I'm a nerd). But somehow I forgot how to be alone over the course of a little over a year of being in a relationship. I've spent the last few months trying to get that back. It would have been wonderful to see something like this video in that first month post-breakup, just as a reminder of how beautiful alone time can be.
posted by inara at 5:17 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Lovely poem and video. I spend most of my time alone but lately I had forgotten that you can go out and about and engage with life and with other people without having to form any kind of lasting relationship. You can be friendly with strangers, you can show love to unknown neighbors. I like going to crowded movies by myself so I can share the experience with strangers (who will clap at the end of an inspirational movie, who will gasp and groan at the end of Inception, I like all of that). I like going to restaurants by myself so I can savor good food and people-watch without the distractions of home (the tv, or the radio, or the computer, or books).

And for those who think they might prefer being alone, not as a temporary relief but as a permanent thing, I'd recommend Party of One:The Loner's Manifesto by Anneli Rufus. When I read it years ago it opened up a whole new world to me because most cultural images of loners are quite negative. It helped me to see that I could be me and in a positive way. It also has ideas for ways to live and breathe alone, much like this poem.
posted by Danila at 5:33 PM on July 30, 2010


That was lovely--thank you for posting it. I am an introvert and I like being by myself, but it can be lonely if it's not by choice. I think the video address that gently and well. I really liked the part about being alone but not alone at the library; I remember one period of real loneliness where my only solace was the local public library. It was one of the few places where I felt any kind of connection to anyone, even though I mostly just smiled at the librarians and looked through the stacks.

(Also: at first I didn't realize that the filmmaker was Andrea Dorfman! I like her films very much and am glad to see her new work.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:38 PM on July 30, 2010


I'm often alone, but this made me feel lonely. I suppose loneliness depends on the company you keep.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:47 PM on July 30, 2010


I should preface this by saying, I didn't know Tanya Davis before this post. After about 20 seconds of watching this video I thought, "This is Canadian". The subsequent Canadian flags in the background and credit to NFB Atlantic confirmed that.

What is it about our culture, our nation, that produces work like this? I can't really pinpoint one thing about this that made it so obvious but it seems like a combination of the self reflective, lonely, internalizing prose. The coats in parks and the hippies wearing colourful clothing. Something about it immediately grabbed me and said, "This girl was educated in a school system where she had to read Margaret Atwood, watch heritage moments on CBC and drive in a car from her rural farm to school with her parents listening to CBC every morning".

I don't know how else to describe it... but I like it.
posted by dogbusonline at 5:55 PM on July 30, 2010 [13 favorites]


What is it about our culture, our nation, that produces work like this?

To oversimplify: It is bigger and emptier than almost any other industrial nation on earth. Australia gives us a run for our money - more isolated, the spaces between cities even emptier, for the most part - but because it isn't so fucking cold, it seems, at least to this casual Canadian visitor, less preoccupied with its empty space. There's as much empty space in Russia and China, but both of those have dense, concentrated cores far away from their hinterlands; they don't, as far as I know, hopscotch across those hinterlands regularly to reconnect with friends and family.

It is a ludicrous impossibility that the residents of Winnipeg would see the residents of Sudbury as their kin, let alone the residents of Quebec or Halifax. Toronto is further from the place where I type this than London is from Moscow. With a bit of ambition I could bike to Montana, but I've never been there; part of my heart will always be in Toronto, on the other side of a mostly empty continent. Absurd. We live to survive our paradoxes, as another Canadian singer-songwriter once put it.
posted by gompa at 6:19 PM on July 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


phunniemee: “You don't need some sappy poem/video to validate or glorify your choices. Just do what makes you happy.”

Yes, but it's worth thinking about what that means. And maybe you should watch the whole thing - I felt at first that it was in a style that seemed quite sappy, but it really isn't. In fact I think it's quite intelligent. Seriously, give it a chance; I have a feeling you'll find it's more than it seems at first glance.
posted by koeselitz at 6:20 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was interesting to see which people liked it and which couldn't stand it.It was interesting to see which people liked it and which couldn't stand it.

Craig Ferguson's awkward pauses do the same thing.

They also allow the accomplished actors to show their craft.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 6:32 PM on July 30, 2010


Anyone else who loved this post (and hasn't read it already) might be interested in this classic article: Caring For Your Introvert.
posted by Noah at 6:34 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I don't what it's like to not be alone. Am I missing something? I'm not sure.
posted by SPrintF at 7:14 PM on July 30, 2010


mrgrimm - no way. Byron was a badass. He ruined lives, including his own, went into massive debt, exiled himself, etc etc. You can't put Byron up against some sappy YouTube video of kitty cats and dancing. For shame.

What do you have against kitty cats and dancing?
posted by juv3nal at 7:16 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The greatest gift I learned in life was how to be alone. The truly lonely are in shitty relationships.
posted by any major dude at 7:16 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am near the end of spending this summer working — in an office, though essentially alone — in a faraway city.


Thanks.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 7:23 PM on July 30, 2010


We come from different worlds then, you and I. And xmutex, evidently. While I was soberly rocking out to Minor Threat in high school, you guys were coding. Fair enough. Snark retracted.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:39 PM on July 30, 2010


Oops, that was in response to idiopath. I mean, xIDIOPATHx.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:39 PM on July 30, 2010


joe lisboa: “While I was soberly rocking out to Minor Threat in high school, you guys were coding. Fair enough.”

It's funny, but incidentally Ian MacKaye was the first thing I thought of watching this video. Her voice somehow really reminds me of him, and also the way she phrases her ideas. I don't know what it is.
posted by koeselitz at 7:42 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think I was subconsciously channeling that, too, koeselitz. Maybe his work with The Evens or something?
posted by joe lisboa at 7:46 PM on July 30, 2010


However it is we've all come to it, if this thread becomes a shrine to the genius of presumed introvert and undeniable individualist Ian Mackaye, even just for awhile, I'll call it Mission Accomplished . . .

Here's some questions that the writer sent
Can an observer be a participant?
Have I seen too much?
Does it count if it doesn't touch?

posted by gompa at 7:53 PM on July 30, 2010


The greatest gift I learned in life was how to be alone. The truly lonely are in shitty relationships.

Amen. When I was in my relationship I really understood the line from "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof"; "I'm not living with you; we occupy the same cage!"
posted by The otter lady at 8:02 PM on July 30, 2010 [5 favorites]



posted by UbuRoivas at 8:45 PM on July 30, 2010


MetaFilter: You Are Not Alone
posted by not_on_display at 9:01 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This was wonderful. It felt real, and very sincere, and I felt I was hearing something entirely unpretentious and with authenticity and feeling. Graphically pleasing in it's simple little way, too. It explained the reality of feeling alone so well.Great post. Thank you.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 9:03 PM on July 30, 2010


I've never felt alone alone when I have access to the Internet. Sometimes I have to get away from it to be alone. That's when I go out and talk to people in the flesh.
posted by fatehunter at 9:07 PM on July 30, 2010


nicely done.
posted by Edward L at 9:09 PM on July 30, 2010


No one believes you when you say you really prefer to be alone sometimes. Or a lot of the time. I could write a love letter to solitude. I get this.
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:16 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmm. It took me this thread to realize that some of the happiest moments of my life have occurred when I was alone. Thanks MetaFilter!
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 9:19 PM on July 30, 2010


After about 20 seconds of watching this video I thought, "This is Canadian".

The accent kind of gave it away, too.
posted by explosion at 10:21 PM on July 30, 2010


...of course, one side effect of eating alone too much is that you tend to eat like a goblin. But no one ever tells you that. I liked the way she put it, 'With all the other chow-downers'.

I liked this a lot.. the contradiction of seeking happy solitude in of all places the anonymous public, among others. Some of those things in there only a fellow loner would know.
posted by marco_nj at 11:57 PM on July 30, 2010


I've always loved a somewhat related song sung by Lucinda Williams: "You wait in the car on the side of the road / Let me go and stand awhile / I want to know you're there but I want to be alone..."
posted by salvia at 11:59 PM on July 30, 2010


Thank you.

Those discussing different types of loneliness above might be interested in this video: And In That Moment, I Felt Infinite.
posted by caaaaaam at 12:28 AM on July 31, 2010


It sounds nice, and it's important to be able enjoy solitude, but that is not lonely. It's important to go places on your own, to not allow social connections, or the lack of them, to dictate the path of your life, but that is not lonely. Sitting on park benches, walking in the woods, eating alone in a foreign city, going dancing by yourself, all of those are things you do alone, and all of them are things I enjoy, and none of them are lonely. Lonely is realizing that you spent five years without making a friend. Lonely is having good news and no one to tell. Lonely is realizing that even though it seemed like the only choice you had, protecting yourself by withdrawing from people was the biggest mistake you ever made, and now you can never go back and do it differently. Lonely is never having anything to say when people talk about teenage romances or fun times in college or their crazy 20s. Lonely is not being able to remember the last time you touched someone.

Being alone is beautiful. Being lonely destroys you.
posted by Nothing at 12:38 AM on July 31, 2010 [32 favorites]


Face... leaking... hurts so good. Thank you.
posted by loquacious at 12:58 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was sweet, I suppose. Personally I deal with it by getting thoroughly trashed in front of the computer every night. It's always worked for me. Each to his or her own.
posted by Decani at 2:21 AM on July 31, 2010


Of course if you have multiple personalities, you never have to be alone ... unless you can't get along with yourselves.
posted by Twang at 5:51 AM on July 31, 2010


I am a mostly extroverted type living the life of an introvert. Yay.
posted by Samizdata at 6:04 AM on July 31, 2010


Alone, for a day, or even long enough that I remember, rather than not even think about, what it was like to talk to people - my me-ness inhabits the quietness caused by no-one talking to me, and I feel more fully myself, more in touch, more alive in some ways. I am a bubble floating in the universe and can absorb and observe without being distracted by another bubble, and relating to their experience of their bubbleness. It is just, gloriously, me - experiencing whatever I am doing, with my full attention. This little clip caught that feeling (for me) and reminded me that I've had very little time alone lately, and how I miss it, and need it to top me up again. It didn't make me think of loneliness at all.
posted by b33j at 6:30 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Given that my wife declared our marriage over yesterday, I certainly needed this too.
posted by Netzapper at 6:36 AM on July 31, 2010


Netzapper, Jesus.
posted by rtha at 7:54 AM on July 31, 2010


Yeah Netzapper: damn.
posted by everichon at 10:06 AM on July 31, 2010


Netzapper: strength, dude. You'll need it. Been there. Two bits of advice:

- don't make any decisions just yet. Your head will be full of "Oh nos" and "What ifs" and "Maybe I coulds"... ignore that fevered noise, for a while. Ignore ituntil you feel just a little bit annoyed at your wife, at most. Not raging, not incoherently furious, not grief-stricken... just a bit annoyed. If you can manage not to feel annoyed at all, even better. That's tough, though.

- take a few day's break from work and normal life, if at all possible. Rest. Talk to friends, but not too much. Just take some time to... stop. Stay still. But only a few days. Then get back on the horse.

Good luck.
posted by Decani at 10:37 AM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can't be more stunted than the need to piss on the ways other people find solace.

Publicly declaring your need and desire to be in public and shove your desire to be alone in the public's face? That gets a fail in my book.

You know how you be alone? Stop surrounding yourself with people that you so crave for confirmation and attention about your selfish alone-ness.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:04 AM on July 31, 2010


Publicly declaring your need and desire to be in public and shove your desire to be alone in the public's face?

Uhh, Civil_Disobedient, dude? I thought the video was a bit soppy and mawkish and all, but I really think the above rather overly cynical framing of it is a wee bit unfair. I think she was honestly trying to suggest ways of dealing with being alone, because lots of people struggle with that.

*cracks second bottle of red*
posted by Decani at 12:16 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


This was astounding. It reminded me of someone I used to be. Someone I have been looking for for a long, long time now. Someone I miss. Thank you for posting this.
posted by perilous at 2:28 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by BigVACub at 3:01 PM on July 31, 2010


mrgrimm - no way. Byron was a badass. He ruined lives, including his own, went into massive debt, exiled himself, etc etc. You can't put Byron up against some sappy YouTube video of kitty cats and dancing. For shame

I can, I did, and I will again.

Publicly declaring your need and desire to be in public and shove your desire to be alone in the public's face?

I didn't pay that much attention or watch the whole thing and I can't really remember it now (internet dementia), but I'm pretty sure she doesn't do that.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:53 AM on August 1, 2010


xmutex: “mrgrimm - no way. Byron was a badass. He ruined lives, including his own, went into massive debt, exiled himself, etc etc. You can't put Byron up against some sappy YouTube video of kitty cats and dancing. For shame.”

Ugh. Well, leaving aside the fact that Lord Byron was a sentimental hack (sorry, I call it like I see it) – you're saying he's supposed to be a mature, thoughtful, deeply intelligent person... because he ruined lives, because he went into massive debt, and because he moved to the Levant in a fit of emotional pique? I'm sorry, but you're not doing much to counter the whole "emo teenager" allegation.

Besides, I for one believe Lord Byron would've loved this video. Yeah, I can't stand Byron, and yeah, I actually like the video myself – but I do know that Byron had taste, and he was discerning enough to see when there was quality to something.
posted by koeselitz at 9:35 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Byron?

When Keats is right there?!
posted by Casimir at 12:58 PM on August 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


The palpable anger in some of the reactions to this quirky paean to alone makes me suspect more than a few have been hurt by someone choosing to be alone rather than with.

We must be more by ourselves even as we love you.
posted by mistersquid at 11:18 PM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love this.

Previously on AskMetafilter.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:46 AM on August 2, 2010


"Aloneness is a state of being, whereas loneliness is a state of feeling.
It's like the difference between being broke and being poor."

- Townes Van Zandt
posted by brand-gnu at 10:20 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Byron?

When Keats is right there?!


Honestly, I flipped a virtual coin between the two. You get the analogy, even if IANAR.

posted by mrgrimm at 10:42 AM on August 2, 2010


Is Celebrating Solitude Really An Anti-Feminist Act?
posted by homunculus at 12:10 PM on August 15, 2010


Wow. That Globe and Mail columnist missed the boat by about as much as he could miss it and still be in the same ocean.

If you haven’t yet seen this 4 1/2-minute piece, it’s a monologue, written by Davis, about dealing with the angst that comes after a breakup.

Right from the get go, he projects his own context on the video. Poor. There's nothing in the text or presentation to indicate it's about women or a woman who has just ended a relationship.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:51 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you haven’t yet seen this 4 1/2-minute piece, it’s a monologue, written by Davis, about dealing with the angst that comes after a breakup.

Wha??? As mrgrimm said, it has nothing to do with being a woman or a breakup. I'm male and loved the video. I didn't for a second think I was part of the intended audience, and I can't think of any part of the video that would have a different meaning if the protagonist were a man. A woman is giving advice, but she's giving it to anyone who's able to use it.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:35 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I posted a comment on that article (8/16/2010 4:44:24 PM).
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:45 PM on August 16, 2010


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