Leave Me Alone
Updated: May 24, 2018
Giving yourself the gift of solitude is vitally important to living a creative life. It seems that all of the best ideas come from time spent alone, especially in a natural setting (though you don't have to go all the way to the cabin pictured above in Newfoundland).
Ever since I was a kid, I've loved being alone with my thoughts, especially walking outside. Way back in the 2nd Grade, I would walk to school alone, talking to myself (though at the time I said that I had an imaginary friend named Michael). I'd make up stories, talk about the weather, or muse about planets and astronomy (one of my earliest fascinations).
Years later, once I left my day job to pursue a career in music, I made it a priority that my daily schedule include plenty of time alone, outdoors. I'd go for a walk every morning through my neighborhood in North Berkeley (California), and almost every afternoon I'd drive up to Wildcat Canyon for a hike. Being completely alone in a 4,000-acre open space park was such an incredible feeling. Out there, it seemed that there were no boundaries to my thoughts, and I felt free to think up whatever came to mind. Out there, my life felt big.
Given my love for solitude and open spaces, it may seem odd that I decided to move to New York City - the mostly densely populated city in America. I just figured I'd find a secluded corner of Central Park (the only New York park that I knew of at the time), and make that my new escape. Once I moved here, I quickly discovered that there were plenty of other, lesser known parks in New York where I could find seclusion and solitude.
My biggest surprise was finding Inwood Hill Park, on the northern tip of Manhattan. Although it's a mere 200 acres, it's a totally natural (i.e. not planted by people) stretch of woods tucked between the neighborhood of Inwood and the Hudson River. This park has been my place of escape for 15 years now, and some of my best ideas have come from walking alone through these woods.
I spend at least a couple hours out there every day, no matter how busy my schedule might be. It's vitally important to feel alive and connected to the world in such a deep way.
Do you have a special place in your life where you go for solitude?
Please share in the comments below. Thank you for sharing!