OK, so I know I’m getting old (oooh 29 this year – anyone reading this who is older than me may roll their eyes right *now*) when I start to watch shows on any of the (Australian) ABC channels that nobody has probably ever heard of. If they involve nature and British ‘celebrities’ (who I know nothing about), then I get bonus old person points. I don’t know why I think of it like that. I guess I figure if it’s something my parents would watch, I feel old because only a little while ago, these are the types of shows I would mock them for liking. What goes around, comes around. Damn!
Lately I have been moderately enjoying a show called Alone in the Wild. The concept is simple. A so called British celebrity is left alone somewhere really wild for a week. They have to survive on whatever they find to eat and drink, but they mostly end up eating some bland kind of rations and moaning a bit. They film their experiences themselves and they usually have to try not to get eaten by various wild animals.
Last night I was outraged because the show featured two women – TOGETHER in the wild. I was ready to write an angry letter. That’s not being alone. The show is called ALONE IN THE WILD. Well, I just tweeted my outrage more than anything – it’s like this generation’s way of writing really angry letters in 140 characters or less. I am sure the twitter world really found it very engaging and topical…
Anyway, besides the fact that these celebrities appear to have very discreet trackers who are secretly keeping an eye on them from a distance the whole time, these people seem to really still feel what it’s like to be truly alone for an extended period of time (except for those two chicks – sigh).
This got me thinking. In today’s world, we’re never truly alone are we? We can feel lonely, but are we really alone? I spent a lot of time ‘alone’ before I had the Little Mister, because my husband used to work long hours away from home, usually for a week or two at a time. I would be at home by myself a lot. I generally like my own company, but I am a social creature by nature. Even when we’re alone, we still have social networking, blogs, some kind of interaction with the rest of the world these days. It can be hard to switch off when we have a friggin’ mini computer for a phone! We can be equally annoyed by this as we are comforted.
It would be pretty amazing to have to test your willpower and mental strength, living in a world where you truly cannot rely on anyone else – even for a week. No dropping down to the shops because you’re hungry. No communication devices. Just you and your dodgy survival skills.
I think I could do it if I had to. I am just not so sure I’d like it to be filmed. Think about it. If you were actually being watched while you did all the things you normally do when you think nobody can see you…
Here’s how I think my week would play out:
Day 1: I would be really really excited because, hey, I don’t get much me-time anymore. I’d probably do a few happy dances on the way out to my remote African wild location. I’d then feel very strange when the truck of people drove away. I’d talk to myself a bit. Do another happy dance for good measure. Give myself a pep talk about how good it is to be alone. A few hours in, I would crave a meal that can only be found in…well, not in the wild. I’d have the camping stuff down pat. I’d get my tent up really fast and I’d be all happy because there were no other people there to mess it up.
Day 2: I would realise I’m not really a fan of myself without make-up (I tend to get feral verrrry quickly) and after probably half the day I would look like Tom Hanks on Castaway (with or without a beard). Yes, I am very attractive. Also, I am a little bit nutty. I would talk to myself. I would talk to inanimate objects. I would probably just start doing things like picking my nose and squeezing zits because no-one could see me. I would try to sing old pop songs from the 90s, getting all the words wrong and giggling.
Day 3: I’d just be a hot mess, all alone with my thoughts. I’m sure my mind could dredge up all sorts of unresolved issues from the past to work through. Well, that would be fun. I’d comfort eat some semi toxic berries and moan about feeling gross.
Hippos and lions would be less scary.
After that first few days I would probably not be very interesting to watch.
Days 4-7: I’d probably write in a journal the whole time (the original way to blog) and be too scared to venture from camp in case I got eaten…by mosquitos. Or something like a tiger or whatevs.
Then I’d come home and write a book about my transformative experiences, selling millions of copies to silly people.
Just kidding. I’d just tweet about it and check Facebook. Oh, look. Jimmy O’Clacker (not a real Facebook friend) went to the gym again and Sally McDumdum (not a real Facebook friend either but how awesome am I at making up names?!) is sad but won’t tell us why!
Actually, I’d probably just be stoked to eat a sandwich and I would never take my home and its creature comforts for granted ever again…well, for another week or two, before I forgot everything. Let’s be honest.
Look, I’m clearly very exciting. I’m basing an entire blog post on a TELEVISION SHOW. I’m not even being paid to do it. Obviously, I would be a riveting celebrity to watch Alone in the Wild. Well, if I was actually a celebrity…
Just slap me if I ever start watching old school British crime shows that are set in small villages in the countryside – the types of shows where my parents ooh and aah at the scenery, and there are never any surprising plot twists. Slap me twice if I ever base entire blog posts on them…
Seriously, though…how often do we actually spend time alone with our thoughts? Give ourselves time to reflect and process what’s going on in our lives? How often do we race about, trying to forget feelings and push them down? Distract ourselves from the things that make us feel uncomfortable? Maybe sometimes it’s a good idea to switch off the technology and just be. The concept of being ‘alone’ often has negative connotations attached to it, but in healthy amounts there is no reason it can’t be good for the soul
How would you cope Alone in the Wild? What would you do if you thought no-one was watching?