Reflections Of A Solitary Soul

I have always believed that I came into this world alone, a solitary figure marked in constellation. This belief is not born of loneliness but of a profound understanding that, when stripped of all else, my essence remains unaltered, steadfast through the seasons of life. It’s a thought that comforts me in moments of solitude, a reminder that my presence in this world is defined not by the people around me but by the strength within me.

My approach to life and work has always been one of profound dedication. When I commit to a task, I pour my heart and soul into it, much like midnight machines that work tirelessly, unseen yet indispensable. This intensity is a reflection of my inner world—a world where everything I do is an extension of my very being.

In the realm of personal preferences, I’ve always favored the robustness of strong coffee and the depth of meaningful conversations. There’s something about the bitterness of coffee that mirrors the complexities of life, and deep conversations are the bridges that connect souls, transcending the superficial layers of social niceties.

Reflecting on my younger years, I see a girl who lived with reckless abandon, unafraid of the rain or the mud it left behind. Those years were marked by a fearless pursuit of the moment, a stark contrast to the blur of my working years. Looking back, I realize that my dedication to my career, while worthwhile, often came at the expense of living in the moment. I dove too deeply, too quickly, and in doing so, I lost pieces of myself along the way.

The nights are often filled with dreams of alternate realities—visions of who I could have been or might have been had the winds of fate blown in a different direction. These dreams are not rooted in regret but in a curious exploration of the myriad paths my life could have taken. They are accompanied by a poignant nostalgia for the yesterdays that can never be reclaimed, a loveless fascination with what once was and what could have been.

This fascination, however, is a double-edged sword. It represents both the slaughter of the meek and the godlike technique of enduring the trials of life. The feelings of the heart, ever-present and ever-changing, are a testament to the human experience—a blend of joy, sorrow, love, and loss.

As I navigate the complexities of this existence, I am constantly reminded that if I’m still breathing, I am indeed the lucky one. This realization is not a conclusion but a starting point—a reminder that life, with all its intricacies, is a gift to be cherished, a journey to be embraced with an open heart and a resilient spirit. In the end, it’s the depth of our connections, the strength of our coffee, and the resilience of our hearts that truly define the richness of our lives.

February 7, 2024


  • waywardsparkles

    I once read somewhere that the odds of being born were 1 in 400 trillion! So many things can and do go wrong, so the fact that we’re even alive is such a miracle when you think about it! Kind of cool being in this club, isn’t it? Long may we run! And cheers to you! Mona

    • Thomas Slatin

      Thank you for your comment, Mona!

      I concur, yet it seems these calculations often lean more towards the philosophical or whimsical rather than being grounded in science. They rely on a plethora of assumptions and simplifications, rendering them of little practical scientific merit. The likelihood of “you” coming into existence, considering both unique genetic makeup and personal identity, defies precise calculation due to the intricate interplay of human history and biology. It’s a fascinating thought experiment highlighting the extraordinary sequence of events that culminate in each individual’s existence, yet it remains a query without a clear-cut mathematical solution. If someone has a more definitive explanation that is grounded in science, I’d be interested in their theory.

  • waywardsparkles

    Agreed, but sometimes it feels good just reminding myself that we’re all in this together, that even the worst of us has some merit (if for no other reason than to serve as a contrast) and that I shouldn’t take my life for granted. I think it’s less about the mathematical equation, but I once actually read how that number was derived. Don’t remember where though. So that doesn’t help. I like the philosophical side best anyway. Again, just feels good to be alive sometimes. Then again, sometimes it hurts. I think most of the quality of life comes from the intangibles. Things like reading a good-quality post (yours that makes me think and Suzanne’s that makes me laugh!) My focus over the last decade (give or take) has been focused on the absurdity of existence. My life, specifically, has much fodder when it comes to the absurd. Anyway, I enjoy reading and thinking about what you write, Thomas! (BTW, do you prefer Thomas or Tom?) Also, Are you going to write a book? You certainly have the talent! Mona

    • Thomas Slatin

      Mona, your reflection on the intricacies of life’s intangibles immediately brought to mind a quirky fact that encapsulates the shared fascination my wife and I have with the seemingly mundane, yet profoundly complex aspects of life. It reminds me of that old advertisement for Burger King, boasting that there were exactly 221,184 ways to enjoy a Whopper sandwich. It’s a humorous yet poignant reminder of the myriad possibilities that life offers, even in something as simple as customizing a hamburger.

      I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment that the most interesting parts of life are the intangibles. My wife and I run a blog dedicated to Obscure Curiosities, exploring those very concepts that evade definition yet enrich our understanding of the world. It’s these nuances, the layers and textures of life that often go unnoticed, that truly captivate us. It is my belief that the most valuable experiences don’t come with a price tag. They’re found in moments of connection, in laughter, in the beauty of nature, and in the joy of discovery. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

      On a personal note, I’ve channeled some of my life experiences into writing, having published three books, two of which are currently available. Writing has become another avenue for me to delve into the complexities and curiosities of life. I have a listing of all of my published books here.

      Regarding my name, Thomas—a choice my parents made, oblivious to the gendered expectations it would defy—has become a unique aspect of my identity. Those who know me have embraced, “a girl named Tom,” a moniker that encapsulates my journey and the unexpected paths life has taken me on. It’s a reminder that identity is multifaceted, and cannot be confined by societal norms. My name is responsible for adding many moments of confusion to the folks at the Vermont Department Of Motor Vehicles. To answer your question, I have no preference between Thomas or Tom.

      In my travels through life’s mysteries, I’ve encountered individuals with a similar thirst for understanding the hidden facets of our existence. They’re often taken aback to learn that I never completed college, a detail that, I believe, underscores the idea that education and wisdom come from a variety of experiences, not just formal schooling.

      Suzanne, whom I’ve known for years and consider a dear friend, shares this appreciation for life’s enigmas, though she chooses to document her experiences in a humorous fashion. Her book, What Any Normal Person Would Do is fantastic!

      Thank you for your kind words, Mona. I’m grateful for the connection we seemed to have formed over our mutual interests. Please keep in touch and continue to share our discoveries and insights.

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