An imagined conversation with Alan Alda:
Lauren: Hi, Alan. Nice to talk to you. I am currently in a foreign city away from my friends, family and comforts and I’m feeling a bit lonely. Any suggestions?
Alan: You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.
Lauren: Okay, so I have. Against my comfort, my intuition told me to dive into Thai waters, to explore the wilderness of fruit trees and tropical storms. I can see myself in everything and everything in me. It is wonderful AND frightening to see the sky reflect the storms in my soul. What now Alan?
Alan: Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.
Lauren: My assumptions, hm? Well, I assumed I was lonely based on the fact that I started a fake conversation with your famous quotes I found on Google, but maybe I’m not lonely… Maybe I’m just finding a unique way to entertain myself. Maybe I’m just bored? Ah yes, let the light shine through!
Alan: Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.
Lauren: Well, I’m not sure that anyone has ever had a fake conversation with you, while in Thailand, wearing a green flowered paa-sin, at 2:30 in the afternoon and eating an instant noodle soup before. Here, now, in this moment, I am in a place and time where no one else has ever been.
Alan: Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.
Lauren: You’re right for calling me a smart-ass (then again, that’s an assumption). Wisdom is telling me that personal reflection is healing for the stormy soul and that sharing it on social media makes one feel less alone even if no one actually reads what one is writing. Now, I think I should go write a poem or meditate or something…
Alan: When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing one another.
Lauren: True. I’ll keep humor in my heart to stop myself from killing this jumping spider hopping around my desk. I can’t just assume he is a he or that he/she desires to bite me. Maybe the spider is just as bored as I am and wants a companion. Maybe the spider just wants to be happy.
Alan: It isn’t necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It’s only necessary to be rich.
Lauren: Looks like I’m doomed for unhappiness for the next few years if that is the case…
Although, I’d argue that “rich” in experiences, fueled by boredom and loneliness, that often breed creativeness and a search for humor, can challenge one’s typical ideas and assumptions and ultimately lead to a unique discovery of oneself and a clearer window of wisdom in which to view the world…
Thanks for the chat Alan. I feel like the storms have subsided for now. I’m going to go spend some time in the sunshine.