The Detoxing Man is Connected (by shared experience, passion, and expression).
I watched a lot of videos late at night during the COVID lockdowns of 2020. I did this on my own, coming to bed only after many hours of YouTube or TikTok. If time was meaningless during lockdown, then so too was I. I was unmoored from any kind of daily patterns except for the one where I sat on the couch alone, eating food too late and watching videos for too long. I was independently mourning those who were sick and dying. And, I was disconnected from everyone who wasn’t in the screen I held in my hand.
Even though I was aware of just how many others were engaged in something similar across the nation, I didn’t share that experience with them. We were separated from that shared moment because it was easier that way. It was easier to feel like I could survive on my own, to tough it out. It was Easier, but certainly not better.
Better is sharing the experience of going up to Chautauqua park and walking up that beautiful hill with members of my family as we panted behind our still freshly adorned masks. Better is sharing the passion of going to the Colorado legislature multiple times to testify alongside others who just want to hang a flag within their HOA-constrained neighborhood, whether they were banners proclaiming “don’t tread on me” or “Black Lives Matter”. Better is building “a listening room” filled with vinyl records, used furniture, and a funky rug, a space that expressed exactly what we needed our home to be as all five of us were working, learning, and playing in the same few rooms for months on end.
Ultimately, it was the connections that I remember from that year.
We are connected by what we do together, what we believe in together, and what we feel together. We are rewarded by these connections with a much fuller life than the one I tried to plot for myself on the couch late at night. My isolated hours were all the same, each one just as uninteresting as the next. But, the ones I spent in connection were many and varied. The experiences I shared, the passions I cultivated, and the expressions of myself that I uncovered. Those are the stories of my life worth telling.