Sturmfrei (noun) Origin: German | shtUrm·frI The freedom of being alone and having the ability to do what you want.
“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
I have never been bothered with being alone. I have always been able to entertain myself. I’m very seldom lonely. I traveled by myself through Cambodia for 6 weeks. I hit Peru by myself and did a tour through Machu Picchu. I often start and end vacations alone. Aloneness gives me time to regroup from the world of chaos that I often find myself in.
The traveling has been stupendous. I was able to spend time taking photos, meet people outside of my normal group, and break out of my comfort zone. Everything I did was the result of the choices I made. It was fun and I wasn’t bored.
However, the older I get, the more I like to travel and do things with others. I look back on some pictures of my travels and I do not negate the fun I had on those trips. I did have fun. I met wonderful people along the way and even made some life-long friends through my solo journeys.
Sometimes though, after the travels and excitement ended, it was far less interesting going through some of the photos alone. Me alone. Someone taking a picture of me by myself. Me taking photos of scenery and people that were interesting in the moment. Many of those stories still live on. I just cannot explain them adequately to others. Or no matter how deeply these times were explained, others simply did not care about them as they had no relevance to the situation, place, smell, culture. I had no one to laugh or reminisce with about the wacky ways of the world.
“Never be in thrall to anyone but your own wants and desires, because only you can make yourself happy. Fly your own flag, and be true to it. Your soul is the true captain.”
I will always love my time alone. However, the shared memories I have with my family and with my friends are often more rich for the sharing. The joined memories that pop up in my head, often pop up in the heads of the individuals or groups who shared the events. Shared memories make you feel like you are still with that person or group.
“Humans, not places, make memories.”
“The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died. They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you.”
“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”