Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Best and Worst of Both Worlds

In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I won't name any names, but I've been playing a video game that involves a battle of two interconnected worlds, each of which draws power from the other one for survival. As one world thrives, the other slowly perishes, until the flow of power is reversed--like a cosmic hourglass. This is how I feel about my life at this point in time.

Here I am, living in my brand-new apartment, all by myself, except for a guest who's staying the summer. For as much of a solitary creature as I am, I am acutely aware of how much I've needed the company throughout the past several weeks. I get edgy when I don't have my alone time, but the emptiness can be overwhelming when I've got no one to be alone from. It's been good to have the company, for more reasons than are necessary to list.

The world where I am a social being, sharing things with others and enjoying spending time together, is thriving. The world where I am alone, utterly independent, and wholly focused on my own activities is crying out for help.

In this solitary world, I gain creative powers less than or equal to my wildest imagination. I run with the creative vibe for as long as it lasts, and I take breaks when I see fit. When other people are with me, I work my side projects and pastimes around them. When I'm on my own, I work myself around my activities.

This isn't necessarily a good or bad thing; it's just how I operate. I've been so involved in making custom video game levels that I've worked straight through lunch without so much as a passing thought, until my ravenous stomach started nibbling on itself around four in the afternoon. I've stayed up until three in the morning working on a blog post for the next day, despite having to wake up for work in another few hours. I say it's worth it if I'm satisfied with what I've been working on.

I had a nice little burst of creativity that lasted a few days. I wrote up my first thoroughly official Exfanding post in too many months to count. I produced three new articles for GameCola, two of which were quite substantial. I recorded footage for my next three or four "Flash Flood" videos. That's to say nothing of the generally productive domestic things I accomplished. I had my alone time, and I took full advantage of it.

There was, however, some balance. Though I was alone the whole week, I had company a few nights. I even got out of the house. Some social time, some alone time. Now, the social world has sapped away almost all the energy from the solitary world, and I'm using my last few iotas of isolation to write this post. As I wrote about in a previous post, things aren't quite in balance.

Yet, I know that when the company leaves and I'm on my own again, I'll start longing for company before long. Creativity needs something to run off of, and there's only so much inside me I have to burn before I need to be recharged by other people. Furthermore, there's only so much I want to creatively output without spending time with others, strengthening the bonds that are as valuable and enduring as anything I could put out on the Internet for longevity.

I'm shifting between two worlds, and it's an either/or situation: either I have company or I don't. My apartment isn't big enough to hide away from anyone else who's there, nor am I quite close enough to any of my friends or family to just run next door whenever I want to break the solitude. I appreciate that I'm in an apartment situation with other people who I occasionally see popping in and out of their homes, but I haven't gotten to know anyone to the point where I was at college where I could leave my door open and randomly drop by someone else's room for an evening.

There is a balance to be had, but not just yet. For now, I'll make the most of the social and solitary opportunities, and try not to melt down when I've got too much of one or the other.

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