Reflection on Isolation

By Mac Pomeroy

The final weekend before school began, I went camping with my sister. To be honest, I’m not really the type of person to eagerly march off into the woods, away from modern technology and luxuries. While I love nature, I also love not checking my legs every five seconds to see if they’re covered in ants and mosquitoes. Despite this, I decided I needed a chance to relax before classes began again.

We had originally planned to only stay for one night, but upon arriving, it became clear we wouldn’t have time after setting up to actually enjoy nature unless we stayed a second night. But, other than the occasional bug nipping at my leg, it was going surprisingly well.

Admittedly, I am not exactly up for “roughing it”. I had a waterproof tent and an inflatable mattress, so I wasn’t just sleeping outside on the ground. Despite the modern accommodations, lying in the tent that night, I heard something I hadn’t heard in a very long time: silence. Which is ironic, considering I hear less than half of everything.

But this was a different kind of silence. It wasn’t pure, but instead echoed by cicadas and rustling leaves in the background. It was genuine. There was no traffic, no worrisome thoughts to trouble me during the night. For once, I felt calm.

Taking time to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet is usually difficult. It is seen as being lazy, especially now. With people spending more and more time home by themselves, the idea of personal time has become almost a joke. Regardless, the importance of taking some time for yourself has not diminished.

This year has been hell for everyone, some more than others. Despite this, we are still human. We still get stressed and tired, and if we overwork ourselves, we will still burn out. I have written many times before on the importance of taking care of yourself; perhaps too many times, but that is how important it is.

Being home alone is not the same as taking a moment for some peace and quiet. Admittedly, even I thought it was before that night. But as I laid there, looking up at the stars, I realized it just wasn’t. I had grown so attached to constantly being on my devices these last few months, just for some form of connection to others, I hardly shut them off long enough to think. 

I’m definitely not someone who feels technology is a bad thing, nor do I think it is bad to be on your devices a lot. But everything is online now: social, school, work. Many of us have found ourselves online far more than usual. That’s when technology becomes an issue. 

Even when alone, we don’t allow our minds to be quiet. I struggled to keep my phone down as I kept checking if I needed to make any edits on my article. Eventually, my sister had to take it from me so I could focus on my surroundings instead.

Taking time for yourself is just as important now as it was before, if not more. This is a stressful time. There’s nothing wrong with taking time to relax.