🫂 How to be alone but not lonely.

“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.”

Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms

Whether its on Slack, in a park, on gmail, at a cafe, scrolling on Tiktok, or at a bar with some friends we truly have a buffet of options to choose where we spend our time.

When people ask us what we were up to during the week or weekend we rarely mention the activities we do in solitude, even through these moments take up a considerable portion of our time whether it be doing the laundry, reading, listening to music, or just scrolling on our phones.

These lines tell a story with each increase opening a new chapter of our lives and their decrease marking their resolution. Going into each of these trends can be an entire novel so I'll focus on the one that sticks out like a sore thumb.

It's what some fear and avoid, others tolerate, and few embrace.

Being alone.

However its not the act of being alone for me that makes it the boogieman of my time but rather the feeling of being by yourself.

So how can we be alone but not lonely? Especially with the time we spend online.

The web is a double edged sword with the capacity to both connect and isolate us.

However while working with countless creators and collectives within crypto I've come to realize the power of building communities online that demand participation rather than attendance.

Whether its Facebook groups that are show and tells for birdwatching enthusiast, academic twitter professors sharing their research, or NFT communities raising funds to build games and buy basketball teams there's been a renaissance of new ways to organize on the web that all center around one ethic.

Collaborative communities.

However, being part of a community doesn't necessitate being amongst many people.

It can be reading a book you were recommended, learning a meditation new meditation practice, or preparing a meal from a different country you saw online.

Taking part in shared traditions, learning something new, and curating culture for ourselves are all ways we participate in community even if we do them in the comfort of our own solitude.

"I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will. Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows. The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge College is as solitary as a dervish in the desert. The farmer can work alone in the field or the woods all day, hoeing or chopping, and not feel lonesome, because he is employed; but when he comes home at night he cannot sit down in a room alone, at the mercy of his thoughts, but must be where he can “see the folks,” and recreate, and as he thinks remunerate himself for his day’s solitude; and hence he wonders how the student can sit alone in the house all night and most of the day without ennui and “the blues;” but he does not realize that the student, though in the house, is still at work in his field, and chopping in his woods, as the farmer in his, and in turn seeks the same recreation and society that the latter does, though it may be a more condensed form of it."

Henry David Thoreau

See y'all next week,

V and Nat

If you made it all the way here why not just subscribe 😎.