I am good at being alone, it’s one of the things I like most about myself. I’m proud of it. Knowing that aloneness is something I’m not only comfortable with, but crave, has meant that I seem to need less of it. As long as I can close a door, or walk away, or sit by myself, I’m fine. Being alone makes me feel powerful and peaceful. It makes me feel like my brain is a gold mine, and I’m so lucky to have this imagination. Being alone has always felt deeply indulgent to me, like a day off or being able to buy whatever you want. I can subsume the need, of course, if I have to, and there’s a part of me that thrives on crowds and bustle and ambient noise. Too much, though, and I get cranky and sad and thoroughly unpleasant.
I am a person who needs a lot of space, not the physical sort, but the distance from others kind. I’m pretty sure I can’t go on vacation with someone because I’d be grouchy if I couldn’t spend at least 60% of the time alone, wandering the streets or reading. This is something I’m pretty sure (very sure, actually) that a few people in my life find this disarming—because eventually you’re supposed to stop being by yourself and find someone to be with instead. You stop being a solitary creature with your own space and start building a space with someone else. And then you add more people to that space. You should do this for a lot of reasons, but also…you don’t REALLY want to be alone, right?
We have bought this, I think, the idea that being alone is something we should avoid at all costs. Women who are alone, who live alone after a certain age, who aren’t partnered, are pathetic and deeply suspicious. Men who are alone are either oversexed, perpetual teenagers, sad, asexual creatures, or creepy perverts. Being by yourself is not a choice anyone in their right mind is supposed to opt for.
*nods head * Yep. Coulda been me writing that. I especially get the part about the brain being a gold mine. I am the consummate dreamer – I find that my inner world (with I admit the help of fictional works, radio, TV, just “brain food” in general) can keep me quite entertained for long stretches of time, to the point where I can go a bit overboard and wake up with a bit of a “solitude hangover”. In the past few years I’ve made a conscious effort to build friendships , in order to keep me from going over the hermit edge!
I had a friend once who was a bit mystified how I could spend the day by myself – and relish it, whereas she always had to fit in some sort of social function or meet up with a friend (or two or three) on a daily basis , or else she’d get a bit restless. ( fwiw I consider myself only moderately solitary- I can go for a day or two w/o human interaction , but if I worked from home full time I think I would quickly get cranky, unless I had regular meetings, or client appointments, or some form of group interaction).
Same for me, but I also have to make sure to schedule in some people time on the weekends… too many days alone can get depressing.