The friction between conflicting ideas, conflicting personalities, conflicting priorities and values…that’s the stuff of life. All of that conflict and tension is inevitable for anyone who lives among others, and is truly present, and not only able to but willing to escape the confines of one’s own skull-sized kingdom. It’s certainly hard to undertake those solo efforts, of whatever variety. Races, climbs, expeditions, adventures. Harder than most can bear. There’s undeniable romance to it, too. It sure as hell sounds liberated, and liberating.
But the courage required to connect with someone else, attempt to understand them through a lens outside of self, to let them help you as well as be able & wanting to help them is something that’s hard to measure. I think that’s what David Foster Wallace was getting at about “true freedom.” As he put it, “sacrificing for others in a myriad of petty, unsexy ways.”