After a week and a half without the internet and as a result of not owning a T.V, I have had relatively few distractions of late. As a result of this free time I have been in reflective mood. I would love to say that I uncovered the secrets of the universe and attained inner peace, but I did not. It would be a lot to ask for in ten days. I did discover few things that I thought I would share.
The first and most obvious is that I go to extraordinary lengths to distract myself. With no internet I had no Facebook to pointlessly check, no videos of cats to watch on Youtube (why did I feel such a need to spend time doing this?), no emails to look at then instantly delete due to their utter banality and no games to play while taking a poo.
Side note: I ended up reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson while on the commode and it turns out that book is just as bad as what was coming out of me.
What I came to realise, or rather, what I realised after the first three days of unplugging wires on the router in the vain hope the internet had fixed itself or seeing if neighbours password for their wifi was ‘password’ (it wasn’t), was that with none of these things to distract me, I was actually able to hear myself think.
This was tricky at first because I am not all that fond of myself and having to hear my own thoughts was kind of a drag. There is only so many times I can think the same boring thought without getting annoyed. This may seem a negative way of thinking about me, but it will become clear in due course.
I was sat outside on about day six of no internet when I heard a voice. This may not seem so surprising but it wasn’t the voice of another person, or even talented Parrot, it was a voice that was quietly trying to get my attention from within my head. With nothing better to do, I stopped and had a listen.
This voice gently told me that it was ok to be quiet. I really do not know where this came from as I was not aware that I thought it wasn’t ok to be quiet, but when you are getting told something by yourself, it is probably wise to listen. Unless the voice is saying something really horrid like ‘I bet if I gave One Direction a chance I would probably like them.’
As I was puzzled I listened. The voice went on to say that it was indeed fine to be quiet, to enjoy the quiet and generally take time out from the technological age we live in. Having no choice about it I carried on having no internet for a few more days and thought about the idea of not having to be loud.
I think there is a real difference between being quiet and not wanting to be noticed. I have been shy for sure and hoped that I could slide through events without attracting attention. Now I see it differently. I no longer desperately want people to notice me as I did when I was younger. I am happy with being quiet. I am happy with not wanting to shout to be heard. I am happy with the idea that if people want to listen to me they can do, but I do not want to force them to.
I am pretty content with the new idea that my own voice in my head is worth listening to. It might have some interesting things to say if I keep on listening, so I will stop here and get off the internet where I have no choice but to write this and stare at the wall for a bit. It is a damn fine bit of wall though.
I will end with a quote that my mum told me when I was much younger that I am only truly starting to understand now ‘Confidence is knowing it but not having to show it.’
Take care buddies,