I’ve spent many Saturday nights like this. Contently alone, but restless. For some reason I thought I would outgrow it – this desperate longing to be anywhere but here, that anything fun is happening somewhere else, and that if I was there, too, I would finally feel complete and fulfilled. It’s the feeling that caused me to travel the globe for the better part of ten years, always in search of a beach, a building, a person. A feeling.
I know now that an empty hotel room is a thousand times lonelier than a home, so I am grateful to have a home that I love so much. I know that trying too hard to insert yourself into somebody else’s life is a recipe for heartbreak, and that a beach, or a building, is just that unless you are there with the right people. So the only way to truly be happy is to be happy with your life and make sure that it is everything you want it to be, or at least on the track to be, every single day.
I remember feeling this way when I was 18, sitting in my parents’ loft watching the sunset over the valley among the forests and hills surrounding our house in Norway, and I was aching to leave, see the world and begin to mold my adult life. I wrote of that bittersweet pain in a journal much like this one. Ten years later I sit in a cute little apartment in Waikiki, less than a block from the beach, but surrounded by tall concrete structures so it could really be anywhere. The illuminated turquoise pool outside is beautiful at night, and every single palm tree, though strategically placed, makes my Norwegian heart sing in a way that can only be understood by those who are used to seven months long winters.
I know comparing your life to others is the death of happiness but indulge me for a second. I’ve been trying to get a handle on Twitter for the past month and in that time I’ve been following random celebrities including this twenty-something year old actress on a popular TV show. She spent New Years in Thailand, jetted back to the east coast for filming during the week (making a cool $50,000+ per episode), spent every weekend of January in LA attending award shows, and now she’s in New Orleans. Incidentally, one of my best friends is in NOLA right now and I would give an arm and a leg just to see her, but personal grudges aside, it is hard to not feel as though you are missing out sometimes in this 24/7 instant social media world. Everybody is always doing something which, if you have time to sit and view it all, seem more exciting than what you are doing.
It is hard to enjoy solitude these days. It seems the only cool way to be alone is to take a picture of your serene surroundings and upload it to Facebook, usually accompanied by a profound and introspective quote.
I don’t know, man. Usually I put on a movie to distract me until the feeling passes (On the Road is currently paused at 23:16, in case you wondered) but this time I wrote a blog post instead. And I feel better. Thanks for reading.