I was thinking about the character of Tyler from Enlightened this week and how he felt like a ghost and how he ended up regretting all those years that he didn’t try to break out of his lonely rut.
I’m not like Tyler in that I certainly have tried. I’ve lost count of all the online dating I did in my thirties, I moved to a new city to shake things up, I went out and tried new things more than anyone else I know. Yet, like Tyler, I know what it’s like to, for example, go to the grocery store again, alone, and feel invisible.
These last few months I’ve actually gone in the opposite direction from my usual approach of “getting out there” and have become more of a ghost. The first few months I moved here, when I imagined I might become employed soon, I went out quite a bit, but when my job prospects became iffy, I started to retreat. I need to save money, and it is hard for me to invest socially in the city when there is a question about whether I’ll be able to stay.
So instead, I’ve been concentrating on my classes and projects around the house. At several points during the week, I feel lonely and feel like getting out and around people would do me some good, but I squelch that feeling.
It’s a bit alarming how much I’m beginning to like spending time alone in my little hobbit hole. Like Helen from Enlightened said when questioned about being alone, “The conversation is better.” When I do go out, I find myself looking with anticipation to the moment I can return home.
I get Helen and Tyler. When the world is not particularly welcoming and efforts can be for naught, it can seem logical to quit trying.
Because I have to go back to work, however, I won’t be able to hermit for much longer.