I just got back from San Diego. It was amazing, and the fish tacos and the sun were so right. Today I told my friends at Toms about my solo trip, and Emma said, "You like to be alone, don't you?" HMM.
It got me to thinking about loneliness. Not the Edgar Allan Poe, typing in the dark loneliness, but the actual act of being alone and what it can feel like. Maybe it occurs right before you fall asleep, either laying solo or with a lover, and able to witness the privacy of your mind. Maybe it happens when you're making art, or showering, or driving. Whatever. Sometimes being alone is great, like during bathtime or when your parents send you a box of Whitman's Sampler and you've got 2 episodes of This American Life to enjoy. But other times being alone can feel intimidating, and, well, lonely.
We're in our own brains from life until death, so in that way, yes we are alone. Our specific thoughts are private, and it's up to us whether or not we share them. But then there are the universal human emotions, like joy and fear and heartbreak and anxiety and enthusiasm that unite us in a stereotypical kids-holding-hands-around-the-globe-style-embrace. You tell a friend, "I was so heartbroken I felt like I was punched in the stomach and had to throw up at the same time" and, if they've been heartbroken as well, nod, raise a beer, and say "Yup, been there." Artists, musicians, and poets then work to create something that translates that feeling of being alone, and hundreds of people are rattled by the work. Despite being alone in our minds, there are waves of emotion and experience that connect us like the endocrine system.
So yes, I do like being alone, but I also really love creating intimacy with my fellow humans. There are times where I feel so brother-and-sisterly connected with others that I just want to stand on the table and demand everyone do capri-sun kegstands in honor of humanity. One of these said times occurs when in the presence of funfetti. White cake with multicolored sprinkles by definition, but funfetti is so much more than that. (Just check out this funfetti gallery!!) Funfetti cake is if someone collected laughter and sprinkles, went inside a fairy kitchen, and threw the entire amalgamation into an easy bake oven and cooked it with sunshine. It's champagne and childhood and freckles. Everyone likes funfetti! And it's hard to feel alone when you're eating funfetti cake (maybe because you're dining with your inner child).
I made this recipe for a series of recipes on mug cakes with Wanderlust, because 1) I love mug cakes 2) Some of my GF friends have been looking for mug cakes for their diets and 3) I can't justify making an entire funfetti cake every day of the week. This recipe calls for coconut flour and sprinkles and makes a super-quick, super-yummy funfetti cake for one. I like coconut flour because it's full of protein and fiber, which gives me an excuse to eat cake before the gym.
(I brought this topic up with my amazing friend John last night when I called him at the beginning of my drive home from San Diego and we proceeded to talk about tacos, cross-generational relationships, and 3D printers. At the end of the conversation he said, "See, Amanda?!! We just talked for 2 hours on your drive home. You're not alone!" John only eats meat and nuts, otherwise I would dedicate this cake to him. Thanks, John!)
Also, thank you Hozier, for making loneliness so sexy. (Nostalgia)