Mastering Change: Finding Comfort in Solitude

Mastering Change: Finding Comfort in Solitude
Alyssa Campbell stands in a grotto, contemplating life. Photo by Alyssa Loggins (OSU student).

Adulting on an inner level

Time moves fast when you’re caught up in the anxiety of day to day life.

In my previous column “Am I Adulting Yet?” I discussed the uncertainty that comes with the dreadful quarter-life crisis.

This summer has given me a lot to think about; regarding where I am, where I’m going, and what I’m doing to get there.

Besides the actual work that I am putting in towards my dreams, I’ve realized something that is also very important: Take time to focus on living a balanced life. Whether it be changing eating habits, drinking more water, going for a nature walk, hike, meditating, yoga, or just listening to what my body and soul need, so I can feel grounded in the present.

“This is critical because in our everyday normal states we tend to be tied either to recollections and vestiges of the past or to hopes and fears about the future,” wrote the Dalai Lama, on discussing meditation and mindful observation, in his book “The Universe In A Single Atom.”

From settling into a new community to picking up where I left off in college, making new friends, feeling lost, battling depression, deciding to take my writing seriously, and finding a voice through poetry; so much has changed within these two years since moving from California to Oregon.

Letting go of attachment has been something I’ve struggled with, and there’s been a lot of inner work I’ve had to do; work that I’m still doing. At times I carry the overwhelming fear of failure and wish I had some guidance. But I realize life works in mysterious ways, and sometimes you just have to trust that everything will turn out okay.

I’m learning that it’s not really about the answers or the destination and I’m ready to get back to being amazed by the little things, while finding comfort in my solitude.

On Aug. 4, I went to Alsea Falls, somewhere I’ve been set on going for a while. And I have to say it was everything I expected. I definitely feel extremely grateful to be surrounded by so much beautiful scenery. But most importantly, when I go on these hikes, I’m able to clear my mind from all the distractions.

“Recognize the good things about spending time alone! If you aren’t familiar with it, embrace it and see if you can find positivity in solitude, and start viewing time alone as an opportunity rather than a threat,” said Dr. DePaulo, Visiting Researcher at UC Santa Barbara, in an interview with Vice contributor Yasmin Jeffery.

Whether it be the latest breaking news, school, money, love, self-doubt, writer’s block, or just the pressure of deciding what steps to take next, I think everyone comes to a point in life when they realize practicing introspection is needed. Not only to have a better understanding of the collective consciousness, but to maintain your own inner peace. Especially when it may feel like the world around you is falling apart.

Column by Alyssa Campbell.