Before you read the rest of this post, listen to the song Motorcycle Driveby by Third Eye Blind. The link takes a little while to load. But if it doesn’t work, look it up elsewhere. Spotify it. Buy it off of Itunes. Looking up the lyrics doesn’t really do it justice….
It is seriously one of my favorite songs ever. And I don’t know why I have a bad habit of forgetting about it. Thankfully, I always (or at least to this point anyway) re-discover it randomly, but especially on long road-trips (which is rather fitting). One particular line stands out to me. “I’ve never been so alone, and I’ve, I’ve never been so alive.” That sounds so paradoxical, but it fits me really well, which I am only now starting to fully realize and appreciate. Maybe that is why it has always resonated with me so much.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being around people too. I still maintain that I don’t like people as a whole, but I have had the good fortune to meet a surprisingly large number of people that I really do like (for some reason or another, they put up with me as well). But when a friend asked me recently when I had felt most alive recently (up until this trip it was watching the sunrise on the Serengeti), it made me think further to the other times that I felt most alive. Stargazing late at night on a boat in the Galapagos. Skydiving. Sunset on a pier in Lubec. Being one of the first people in the country to see the sun rise today at Quoddy Head. Only one of those times involved other people (and the only reason skydiving did was because I couldn’t do it on my own the very first time).
Yes, there is an unreal energy when cheering on the Tar Heels in the Dean Dome (or anywhere, but especially the Dean Dome), hearing my favorite bands perform (right now, it might be Mipso Trio), throwing colored powder at 2,500 strangers on the lawn of Wilson Library, jumping around with hundreds of people celebrating during finals, or graduating with some of my best friends. But it still doesn’t change the fact that I have felt most alive when being alone.
New goal: Make sure I take a long weekend at least once a year (preferably a week actually), and just go off into nature and be by myself. Or with one other person at most (driving around Acadia National Park today by myself made me want at least two more heads).
This particular journey is at its end, and a better summary of the trip might come later. Or it might not. The real world is about to finally announce its presence in my life again.