Finding Solitude Within the Noise: Week 1.

8 01 2018

January Goal: Talk to People Less, Find Self More

solitude

Lone tree, hometown, Kansas, 2013.

After reading The Stranger in the Woods, I have been diving deeper into concepts of solitude discussed throughout the book.

In it, Michael Finkel writes:

“People who live in cities experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones. These hormones, especially cortisol, increase one’s blood pressure, contributing to heart disease and cellular damage. Noise harms your body and boils your brain. The word “noise” is derived from the Latin word “nausea.” (pg 113)

This stuck with me. I live in Denver and though it’s not as bustling and loud as some places like New York or LA, I am in the heart of the city where there is constant traffic and construction projects. In fact, they’ve been building a new house across the street from me for the last several months, and let me tell you, jackhammering at all hours of the day is definitely nausea-inducing.

There was a moment in the book when the author reflected on how long he had ever gone without talking to a single other person, including texts and phone calls. His was half a day. Mine? I couldn’t even think of a time. Had there ever been a time when I actually experienced ‘solitude’? Maybe once for a day in high school when my parents were gone before I had a cell phone or working internet and I decided to stay home “sick” from school, but that’s not a solid memory, just a thing that may or may not have happened.

Because I am so drawn to these ideas of quiet and because I can’t really leave everything behind and run away to the middle of nowhere to live in a tent (for one, I wouldn’t survive). I decided to attempt Solitude Sundays.

Through January, every Sunday (starting Saturday night before I go to bed) I am turning off my phone and my computer and I am spending the entire day alone.

It’s impossible to escape all of the noise, particularly when one has roommates, but cutting off technology at least gets me halfway there.

Baby stepping toward solitude.

Here are my thoughts from Week 1 of Solitude Sundays.

I went to bed early for a change on Saturday night shutting off my phone around 11:30 pm (this is early for me on a Saturday as I often stay up until 3-4 a.m. drunk socializing like an asshole).

I did not set an alarm.

I woke around 10 a.m.

Of course, one of the first things I normally do when I wake up is to look at my phone to see how popular I am based on how many people sent me texts and memes and shit (usually not very) but my phone was turned off and hidden from me.

Separating from my phone was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I knew I was addicted, but I didn’t know how bad it was until it was no longer there. It is my crutch. If I leave a room, even for a minute, I come back and check it immediately just in case I may have missed something or to see the time or to check the weather or to get on Instagram to depress myself by looking at how much fun everyone else seems to be having.

I had to rely on looking at a clock (shocking), stepping outside for a second to see how cold it was (wow!), looking within myself for entertainment or lack thereof (gee whiz!).

What did I end up doing all day? Not scrolling through Tinder I’ll tell you that.

I read.

I read a fuck ton of words.

I read short stories by George Saunders. I started Ape & Essence by Aldous Huxley. I went through my stack of magazines and separated everything I had read, didn’t want to read, wanted to read. I finished several Glamours. I read half of a New Yorker.

I re-read the entire introduction and section 1 of a book on Hedgewitchery.

I may or may not have done the first rite from that book.

I meditated.

I drank a cup of coffee.

I took out the recycling.

I planted herbs into a flower pot.

I finally raked the lawn.

I did nothing.

I longed to do more.

I had all these thoughts about the things I wanted to do with my phone, with my computer; ideas I wanted to look up, people I wanted to talk to. I even longed to call my mother to tell her how difficult it was to not talk to anyone all day.

I wrote down everything I wanted to do with the technology I chose to hide from myself onto a piece of paper so I could do them later if I deemed them worthy.

It was the smartest move I could make in that regard.

I journaled about my feelings (or lack thereof).

I went for a run. I took a bath. I ate some fancyass healthy food that involved quinoa and kale and tofu. My roommate came into the room and I had to say hello, which ruined the entire thing.

I didn’t let her get me down.

I stared out the window.

There were times of tremendous struggle. Times when I thought, “well, what if I just turn my phone on for a minute?”

I persevered.

solitude2

By the end of the time, I actually became anxious. I thought about how lovely it was to not have to talk to anyone and how the following day (today) I would have to start talking to people again. I begin to wonder how many days I could actually go before I went crazy (my guess is 11 days).

I wouldn’t necessarily call what I did “practicing solitude.” But it feels like a good step in that direction. My goal for next Sunday is to do less. I want to dive in deep to the inner self, see what I’ve been missing that’s been with me the entire time.

Alone?

Nah.

Not when I have myself.

P.S. I woke up, turned on my phone. I had missed three texts. One from a friend who called me “lame” for turning my phone off. And two from some fuckboy asking me to “69.” 

In other words, I didn’t miss anything (which makes me glad and sad at the same time).

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Top 5 Sex, Sex, and No Sex: Tips, Tricks, and Troubles.

9 10 2012

I’ve had a bizarre week full of sex workshops, conferences, bar talk and strange dates. Here’s just a tidbit of all of that.

1.) More from Blow Him Away.

This book is full of exercises to strengthen the mouth, lips, and tongue. One of my favorites is to pretend I have peanut butter on my mouth and then lick it off. To add variety one can also try to take the peanut butter off with their lips. The book says to “pretend” to have peanut butter, but since I am constantly eating peanut butter any way, I do it for real! Watch out boys. Muahaha.

2.) Penis Push-Ups.

Women can exercise their pc (pubococcygeus) muscles by just contracting and releasing them or by using kegel balls, but I recently learned how men can also exercise theirs. This is a Porn Star Trick: all they need to do is take a dry washcloth, put it on top of their penis and try to lift the washcloth up and down. Once they’ve accomplished this trick, they can wet the washcloth for additional weight. Then they can move up to a hand towel. Having strong pc muscles makes for stronger longer better orgasms and it helps with urinary and fecal incontinence. Yay being healthy!

3.) Squirt—Not Just a Delicious Soda.

I was at this workshop on female ejaculation. I thought it was going to be all encompassing– giving physical tips and tricks as well as discussing more intimate connections regarding it – but no. That’s not really what happened. It was very much more hippie-dippie than that. They called their vulvas yonis and talked about letting the “goddess juice flow.” Yeah. And then we had to get into groups and discuss our feelings and experiences regarding the whole thing.

Awkward is not quite the word. It was more awkward than awkward.

The worst part is that when I talked about my perspective the people in the group made me feel very uncomfortable. I believe it was because they were quite a bit older than me. And they could not imagine a woman being able to ejaculate with someone who they did not have an intense intimate connection with. They looked at me with sadness. Or like they felt sorry for me or something. Which really pissed me off.

What the fuck old people?

I feel like our generation is different. And I’m curious if we’re missing something in regards to the sex world or if the reason why I was basically the youngest person there is because most people my age don’t need to go to those things?

I can’t figure it out.

I do know plenty of people who at least discuss relationship dynamics and sexuality on a regular basis, but is the format for us more intimate, more one-on-one, less workshoppy? Are workshops for losers?

If this is an area I’m interested in should I turn more toward the social media route? It’s really difficult because it’s a road I’d like to walk down, but if it’s going to be filled with unattractive hippies who hug for too long I think I may want to change my direction and go for another line of work.

4.) Leading the Way.

I was out with some friends and one happens to be a 4th year med student surgeon. We were discussing items that are most commonly retrieved from the anal canal. The #1 thing he says that he sees–hot wheels. Hot wheels! From middle-aged men. Now, this I found to be too intriguing. What’s the deal with that? Is it some sort of revenge on their children? Hahaha!

“I stuff this toy of yours up my butt and now you’re going to play with it!”

Or some other sort of link between sexuality and childhood. Perhaps their first boner they remember getting was while playing with the cars and now they have some fetish for them?

Vroom Vroom.

All I know is that I now what to make anal plugs shaped like cars.

5.) To Kiss or Not to Kiss.

I’ve gone out with this guy a few times but there has been no physical contact. They’re always dates, but then they end anti-climatically. Maybe it’s me. I seem to be attracting a lot of celibate guys lately. It’s disturbing me in so many ways. Will I have to get back on ok cupid? Please Goddess I pray not! I really am not sure what I’m supposed to do here. This is the first time in my life where not just one, but two guys are confusing the heck out of me. I told my friend earlier today that winter is just around the corner, perhaps it’s time for me to hibernate my heart.





Dear Charlie: Fuck You.

10 05 2012

But Now I’m a Little More Fit. So, Ha!

I was awoken at 6 o’clock this morning by the ripping excruciating pain of a Charlie Horse throbbing in my leg.

So I did the most illogical thing I could think of.

I went for a run.

I actually think my act of defiance worked. It was a better decision then staying in bed and having another one. Also, it gave me some “me time” before going to work for eight hours, which is where I probably established the beginning workings of said cramp. Standing on concrete every day for eight hours will do that.

Plus, now I got my healthy stuff done for the day, I worked out, I meditated, I drank a smoothie with spinach in it and everything (sorry for the noise Emily). If life is about balance I wonder how I’m going to fuck all that up tonight. I did rent a Star Trek porn, so it will probably be that and some Jameson. Real classy.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m a guy.

Not a man.

I feel like I was born into the right body and all that. But lately my masculine traits have been featured more in my day to day life. Am I transforming into a bro? For the love of the goddess help me.

Back to running. The thing is I like running, particularly in the morning, but I don’t like waking up in the morning. So there’s a problem there. I wish I could wake up every morning and run like super awesome healthy people do, and I know I COULD but sleeping is just so wonderful. I have motivation now. Sex.

Woah! woah! woah! You scream, “I thought this was MANLESS MAY!?!?!”

Don’t get your boxers in a bunch buddy.

It is.

But soon May will be over. And what better time then now, while I’m man-free to get sexy?

And by sexy, I mean sexier. And by sexier I mean improved endurance and definition.

Now, I know, there’s a lot of  people in my circle of people who discuss the concepts of body-image and media’s distorted portrayal, I can buy that argument–I mean it’s pretty obvious. But also, every individual has their own standards at which they feel attractive. Exercising gives me energy, which is the number one important thing to me.

And I’d like to be completely honest here, I don’t feel comfortable when I gain weight. It’s been a long time since it’s happened, like maybe when I was still just a vegetarian who drank too much beer, but if I put on too much fat on my hips it literally hurts. It’s not something I can get used to. Ever.  Everyone has their own level of comfort, their own level of standards for what makes them feel and look good.

So yeah, now that I’m done with that tangent, I ran today not just to defy Charlie and his stupid horse in my leg, but because I have a couple of mini-crushes and it’s good to always be prepared. One never knows where a crush may lead. . . (except in Man-less May, it’s pretty obvious it’s at least going to lead into June.)