Friday, March 18, 2016

Run With Your Pack, Lone Wolf!

7:30 PM

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Unscrew the locks from the doors of your mind! Get into The World.

Aloneness has always come easy to me. On a Friday, I am my own better version at home, reading a book or watching movies. Flashback to my first day in college: Your girl was cruising the halls of her new university—the one she believed would be her “home” for the next four years. Now I know first days in a totally alien school are tuff, but I skedaddled my way right into it, all alone. And the first day of school turned out fine. Of course, the question that hangs, at the end of the very first day of college, is: Have you made new friends? The answer, as clear as an unmuddied lake, would be a no.

I might have gotten through the first day unscathed by the demonic forces that malign the halls of college, but it wasn’t fun when the third day, the fourth, the fifth, and the first week arrived and I was still without friends. Not one soul. I’d gotten so used to being alone that I didn’t know how to let other people in anymore. Sometimes I’d forget that there are real, actual human beings out there to bond, laugh, socialize with! I was a lone wolf, without a pack to run with.

There is a fine line between preserving yourself from the monsters/germs/exhaustive souls that roam this Earth and tucking yourself away from the rest of the world’s glow. Let’s not exhaust that line, my darling pal! Here are tips ‘n’ tricks to get out of your head and into the Earth’s nitrogen-filled brain (while still preserving yourself from all the harmful, germicidal fumes!):

Smile at strangers. 

This will surprise them (in a good way), and also maybe creep them out (in a bad way, sorry). But don’t you just love it when you make total strangers feel some feelings?! Or: Did you, ever so adept observer of the world, spot a cute barista at the coffee shop this morning? Go on, flash your shy-but-brazen smile at them right now and, who knows, maybe you’ll get an extra pump of caramel syrup in your drink!

Talk to people. 

You never know what kinds of stories and poetic musings you might find out there! There was once a Humans of New York post about a man who’d gone months living in a neighborhood without talking to his neighbors. One day he decided to talk to them one by one, and it turned out to be fun and surprising. Go, you: Ask questions! Do this earnestly to get your message across—that you mean well, and that you’re not, like, a creepy member of a burgeoning gang tryna test out a modus operandi, or something.

Be kind. 

This may sound hackneyed, but it generally works. Have you heard of the phrase “random act of kindness?” The term is pretty self-explanatory—randomly going out of your way to help a stranger (or a friend) in need. Why not dispel that “randomness” and direct all your kind acts upon the whole of humanity (including yourself), with clear intentions? Beam kindness ‘n’ love to a lola who has trouble crossing the street, or let someone who looks as though they truly need the bathroom right away go first in line, or be kind in traffic (both to yourself, and to other road grinders).

One thing to note, though, is that when you are practicing kindness to yourself, people will make you feel guilty for it. Don’t budge, my child! Tread the sunlit path of kindness without shame and a need for validation.

Sign up for something bigger than you. 

This may be as simple as joining a community fun run, a club that interests you, a tree planting event, or a church fundraising—anything that makes you feel happy and accomplished! You know how Real Adults sneer at teens for being self-centered, irresponsible, and uncaring? Well then, this one is a testament that we have hearts, too—much brighter and more golden than theirs!

Being a lone wolf is as rewarding as being a wild wolf, running in packs with their pals and opening up to the majestic bounty of the world. Sure, social interactions are awkward and messy, and, eye contact? EW! But it’s equally ew and terrifying to stay inside, wallowing in your sadness or thinking about how cool you’d be if only, if only, if only

Walt Whitman, in Leaves of Grass, comes to mind: “Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!” It’s not as bad as you’d envision it to be.

Article by Kiana
Art by Czae
Kiana Kimberly Flores's constancy fluctuates. A scholar of nowhere and an aspiring witch, she is a reader and thinker more than a writer and doer. Despite this, she writes a weekly diary at Rookie Mag and has contributed to Femsplain. She seeks to become relentless in her conducts. She lives in Davao City with her grandmother and a dog named Daisy.
in another universe, Czae /zai/ probably resides in a magical treehouse filled with books and peculiar art pieces while getting love and attention from her cat Sansa, 24/7. In this universe, however, she is a Veterinarian. Aside from running away from #adultlyf, she keeps herself busy creating collages, staring at her cactus collection and annoying her cat.


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