Thursday, October 15, 2009

Going It Alone

“Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.” ~ Alice Koller

At my core, the very center of my being I am a loner. I prefer to spend the majority of my free time alone. Spending time lost in my thoughts while idly petting my dog, daydreaming while staring out the window at the currently red and golden hillsides, writing either on this blog or in one of my many journals, reading whatever novel I happen to pick up off the bookself – all of these are among my favorite ways to spend time. I’ve never been one to have multitudes of friends or scores of people I could call up on a whim whenever I felt like going out at a moments notice. My friend circle is very small and I prefer it that way. While I do enjoy going out and having a weekend full of debauchery, shopping, and gallivanting around I also like to balance that out with a weekend spent regrouping--recharging my batteries so to speak.

I used to be easily aggravated to the point of tears by comments other people would say, including my own grandmother who all seemed to think that they knew what was best for me. Even now I get told by people who don’t know me very well “You need to get out more, find yourself a man!” or “You’re young you should go out and indulge in life while you still can.” It never seems to occur those people that I just want to stay in or enjoy the time to myself, that I don’t need a man to make me happy or that there are plenty of older folks out there who are calling their golden years the time of their life. I’ve been told I’m strange because I don’t have a high need to affiliate myself with others or that my behavior isn’t normal. That one day I’ll regret not getting out there more often. The truth is the moment I walk into a situation filled with noise and people I don’t know, that’s usually when the feelings of regret kick in because I know I’d be much happier home with a book or out to coffee with one of my closest friends. Other times people tell me that I'm brave or courageous for being comfortable being by myself, which I find just as odd.

Others thoughts on the sort of person I am no longer bother me as much as they used to but every once in a while they do hit a nerve. I’ve come to embrace the person I am. I am someone who is more inwardly tuned than most people, someone who is completely comfortable in silence. I’m someone who treasures and appreciates my few, loyal friends. I’m someone who is completely at peace with being me. I’m someone who knows the importance of finding a balance between social activities and alone time. I’m someone who chooses solitude, not someone who is forced into solitude. Just because I prefer my social activities to be one on one rather than a big raging party doesn’t make me a recluse as its been suggested; it just makes me, well, me.

While going it alone in a game like euchre is sometimes seen as a brave risky move, for some of us in life its not a brave risky move or an in ability to socialize but rather a much preferred choice.

22 comments:

nory said...

I often commend people who choose to live a lifestyle other than mine because I find it intriguing, secretly I'm a tad jealous, and I'm always happy for them that they have found something that works for them as well.

I think too many of us spend time worrying about what others think (I know I'm guilty of it) or wandering around trying to figure out who the heck we are. Other people just know what works for them and actually live it. That's where my jealousy comes in because, well, I don't always know what I need/want.

I personally need a balance of alone time and social time, usually a bit more social than alone.

Frank said...

I find I rather like being by myself. Even when I'm in a relationship with someone, I still really value my alone time. These days I find I'm happiest when I go out running in an empty park or when I'm up late at night and it feels like everyone else in the world is asleep.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

When I was in my 20's, I craved being around other people. I didn't necessarily need to be in a relationship, but I did need to have a full and active social life.

As I entered my 30's, I really left all that behind. I began to embrace the times I had to myself. I stopped making as many plans with others, so I could make plans for myself. Now, I like to think I'm a healthy balance of the two. And I love who I am.

I think the important thing is being happy. And if you're happy with the way you're leading your life, so long as you aren't harming others in the process (which I'm quite certain you'd never do), then no one has right to judge.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I think I am both - a loner and a social butterfly - there are times when I feel VERY lonely if I'm at my apartment alone and want to go see people and socialize. There are also other times when I CRAVE the alone time and relaxation that comes along with it!

Now that I'm back in school, most of my social butterfly tendencies are satisfied during the day through socializing with my classmates so I'm happy to spend my evenings alone!

Good for you for embracing who you are and NOT letting other people's comments get to you!

justatitch said...

I'm a loner, too, and often get criticized for really needing my time alone and to myself. I limit the number of social interactions I schedule per week, and I find myself to be so much more content with my life when I make sure I guard my time alone.

Ashley said...

I am the same way, but I'm not always comfortable with it. I like being with people more than I sometimes remember. But, I'm certainly not sad being alone. I love it.

I don't know why people feel the need to comment on other people's lives, but I know it sometimes difficult for me to not project my own wants and desires onto other people, even if I'd never dare say anything to them.

Little Fish said...

You know what I think... I think that You are being You and that You are awesome so You should just continue being You!! When other people tell You how to be You, remember that it's only because they are not comfortable with just being Them!

Kyla Roma said...

I love that you are so solid in yourself, this idea is actually part of my post that's scheduled for tomorrow!

I have two best friends here in town, and I love them dearly, but I have never felt the need to have a huge circle of friends or more accurately a huge circle of acquaintances. I also definitely need my home time & my alone time to centre myself, without it I feel totally overwhelmed.

I can do a little social, but a lot and I'm not a happy camper. Maybe at the next blogger meet up, we can other go & give each other somewhere to hide during the 48+ hours of constant contact, cause as much as I loved the meet ups they can be overload!

jnyfritz said...

i agree with little fish! You are fabulous just how You are. i think its amazing that everyone always concerns themselves with what other people think (i know i have wasted many an hour worrying about it) but then you get to a point and really just worry about being yourself.

Cameo said...

I'm sure those people mean well, giving out unsolicited advice. I think we've all been told how we ~should~ be acting, or dealing with things. That said, it's still annoying and nobody but YOURSELF knows what is right for you.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I freaking hate unsolicited advice. Esp when it comes from people who, in my opinion, should be focusing on how to make their lives better - and not on mine!

ok, rant complete.

I am so similar to you. I like my alone time. I never realized that I needed it until I started living alone 5 years ago. Now I can just feel myself getting on edge if I don't have some me time.

MeLaNiE said...

Being yourself is the most important thing...who cares what others think. I like being alone too but it's probably about 50/50 for me.

Bayjb said...

I'm a little bit of a loner too. I enjoy being around others but I do like being on my own sometimes too and having my quiet time. Being this way is totally fine, and people may try to be nice and tell you otherwise but you know what's best.

I do what I want! said...

I'm more of a social person than alone but I do need my alone time. Usually I can go for a couple of weeks without any alone time and then I crash for like 2 days and just have to do my own thing. I wish I could be more like you and just be comfortable hanging out alone and content with myself. I'm working on it though! You are an inspiration!

Elle Bee... said...

I love that you referenced euchre. Hehe.

I think who you are is lovely. Seriously. It's not brave that you're comfortable alone, but it is awesome. Awesome purely because so few people see the importance in it, but the importance is huge. If you can love yourself and be comfortable by yourself, you'll be just fine no matter what life throws your way. It's the most important relationship you can have.

Pam said...

I've always been a social butterfly. Now that I am married with children, I crave and love my alone time. Silence is a beautiful thing. Be who you are and don't let anyone make you feel it's not okay. As long as you are happy - that's all that matters.

AshleyD said...

I'm the same way. I usually prefer being alone rather than being social. Of course there are times I like being around other people, but it's not the norm. In the past few weeks my roommate had made several comments about how I must be depressed because I spend so much time alone. I'm like, "Uh, no, that's just how I am, thanks!" I wish more people would be more understanding about different personalities and social preferences.

Maris said...

I am the same way! I wouldn't trade my alone time for anything!

Auburn Kat said...

I've definitely grown in to more of a loner and I'm perfectly content with that! Although sometimes when I do want to go out and I don't have anyone to go out with it sucks.

BTW, love the euchre reference!

Swishy said...

I totally need my alone time. And it drives me INSANE when people assume that if you are not in a relationship, there's something missing. What. Ever.

Andy said...

I think because I adjust well to situations, I can be comfortable either in situations where I am alone or where I'm surrounded by new people.

Lately, I've been kind of forced to be surrounded by people. Not by anyone, not by me, but by the situation. I am in my first year of college, in a city where I know 3 other Salvadoran girls.

I know I can't build my life around these 3 girls, considering I am in a new city. I'd be just dumb to be in such a culturally rich city in the world and to go back to the culture I already know.

But I am missing my "me" time. In fact, it's becoming NECESSARY. Because it's in this "me" time that I get into work, because my priorities change when I think what I want, and I can only do this when I'm alone.

amanda said...

i like you just the way you are. don't ever let anyone make you cry bad tears. those people aren't worth it.

you're lovely, and don't ever forget it mandy.