I’ve mentioned different components of this post in other posts. I’m aware of this and don’t mean to be repetitive or redundant rather I write them again to watch evolution happen in the words.
I’m about to go find work, find a long term hostel to sleep in, buy groceries that need to be refrigerated (because I can), and get swept away into a world of constant movement. I won’t have a high stress job or anything of the sort. I’ll just be making use of the working part of my working holiday visa, but still I’ll be on holiday. Life will still be pretty easy if I let it. The constant movement that will sweep me away will be of the world around me, the world I’m unavoidably part of. Things to do, news at my finger tips, places to be, responsibilities.
My travel down to Queenstown was quick. I had dates to meet, well not real dates but I had money disappearing and according to my math I would have to start putting money into my account pretty soon. So my freedom of spending days in the jungle, of taking extra days because I didn’t want to leave slipped away. I’ve gone back into the zombie traveler mode, I get on buses, ferries, book more buses, find convenient places to sleep. No time to walk 10km to a free camp ground. That’s okay though it’ll be lovely to have refrigerated food again, eat stuff that doesn’t have to fit in my pack, flavor food with more the the salt in the tuna. It’ll be nice to not pack up my tent all the time, to do laundry and have the good smell last longer then one hike. As I come into Queenstown I am ready for this next stage but I already look back and see that my last month was a gift. I found quiet, argued in circles with a very difficult Emma, found loneliness, heard stillness, found energy in solitude.
Solitude also exhausted me. I had so much to say to myself, so many thoughts of the world I was escaping. I was catching up with myself. The first week in the Coromandel was hard. I thought that since I was alone I’d find peace and quiet. I was mistaken. Alone in the damp jungle my thoughts flung through the trees and slingshotted back into me. When was the last time you didn’t talk for a full day? Didn’t check social media for one day? I quickly realized that my brain, everyone’s, absorbs a lot of information in each day. I became a bit numb to it. The social media that filled my brain with problems in the world that are unreachable to me also became a distraction. The magic of social media cured my overstimulated brain with more AZ stimulation. Apparently if you stop all of it it’ll catch up to you. Just left with the overstimulation social media has imprinted in me and the distraction had been taken away. Peace and quiet was not found in silence.
Then I found quiet. It all hushed. I could sit. I walked. I had a month to sift through the chaos of the world that I live in that effects me so much. The good, the bad, solvable and unreachable. Lets be honest, it was only a month, I have not found the answer that will result in a peaceful life. I did see though that not hearing my voice for more then a day had a bigger effect on me then it should, that sitting still is hard even if you have nothing else to do. That it had been too long since I sat quietly for a day.
I’m pretty damn lucky to have experienced one month of just me. I look ahead, when I get home, summer job, back to school, leases, more jobs. I don’t see another month where I can just sit with myself. Of course people always say you can make it happen, if you want it you can make it happen. But this past month didn’t have a deadline, it didn’t have a return ticket, at some of my low points I wasn’t given a light at the end of the the tunnel to look forword to. It ended up being a month but it could’ve been longer, could’ve have been shorter. That’s the nature of not having a plan. It’ll be hard to have the freedom of not having a plan again. Maybe I could take that time out of my life again, but its hard enough to take a day to yourself when you have other repsonsibilties, to be quiet for a day, to put down your phone for a day. A day is hard enough, taking another undetermined amount of time from life is even harder. I picked the right time to not have a return flight.
In Queenstown I won’t be taken away by the stress of the real world, I’ll still be behind the curtain of holiday. I’ll be having a whole new kind of fun, see a new Emma and I will fully enjoy the ice cream that I’ll have in the freezer. There are new things to enjoy. After a month of some solitude I see how people can brighten your mood with shared laughter. I also felt the exhaustion that comes to me when I am with people too much. Simply I found the sitting and being quiet is essential. That letting your mind be silent is just as essential to a healthy life as going to the gym. I found my energy in solitude, I think I have enough reserve to last awhile now.