A Need for Solitude

Solitude Daisy

Article by Wendy McCance

I have an intense need for solitude.  I require alone time to write, read, listen to music and be with nature.  I crave being alone.  I feel that I cannot recharge without this time.  I get frustrated when I don’t get enough of this time or need to extensively explain this need to others who ultimately still don’t understand.

Those who know me are confounded by how I can want so much time alone. Look, my life is busy with this business of mine that is growing in leaps and bounds.  And, although the kids are older, they still need my presence and carpooling abilities.

I turn friends and extended family away much more often than any of them would prefer and many times I upset someone because of my lack of participation.  I burn out quickly and easily and without recharging alone can become a cranky mess of a person and not much fun to be around anyways.

There is a disconnect I feel in relation to those around me.  I wish I was more of an extrovert.  I wish I enjoyed the art of social busyness and desired a more full active schedule.  I am far from that person.  The only busy schedules I accept revolve around my job and my kids.

I find myself drawn to the creative person.  I am intrigued to be around others who enjoy their own company on such an intense level.  I feel most connected to people who read any chance they get, are philosophical and look for a deeper meaning to their life.  These are the people who enjoy solitude and don’t flinch when their world is quiet.

General entertainment bores me.  It feels like a way to waste away a day in a semi-awake state.  I need a deeper bond, a better connection when I participate in activities with others.  I honestly become more entranced by one on one conversations than sitting side by side watching a movie (for instance).

I have a hard time understanding my appeal towards others.  Why do people want to have me in their presence?  I feel I am probably the most boring person on the planet.  I am not full of crazy stories from all sorts of mischief (that ship sailed in my 20’s).  I am not constantly out and about and the life of the party.  Yet, there is open invitation to be with others.  I rarely accept and I end up irritating people because they don’t understand my lack of interest in getting out.  It’s not that I’m some hermit who dislikes others and holes away in their home, it’s simply that day to day responsibilities burn me out easily and I crave quiet time to restore my energy and renew my creativity.

There is this strange feeling I carry with me where it feels as though people are drawn to my aura yet have no idea who I truly am.  I literally get goosebumps when someone wants to have a deep discussion, sharing their own thoughts and ideas because so often I will be with others and they will sit back and wait for me to do the talking.  It’s like they think I will say something profound and life-changing.  It’s a bizarre feeling of being on stage while the people I am with sit back expectant of how I will entertain them with my observations.  Believe it or not, I have nothing mind-blowing going on to share.  I only know what everyone else knows and I would love nothing more than to know more about you.

Ultimately, for me it’s all about connections.  If I do take time from my quiet piece of the world to participate, I want to feel like I have connected to something or someone.  It’s what makes giving up some solitude incredibly worthwhile for me.

A few weeks back I went to a family gathering.  There were groups of people scattered throughout the house playing games and catching up.  In the midst of all that was around me, I sat down next to someone and the two of us ended up having the most incredible conversation.  We talked about things that were deep in our heads and it was probably the best conversation I can remember having in a long time.  In fact, the talk still hangs in my memory.  It really made an impact on my evening and made the fact that I went out tremendously satisfying.

I don’t know what makes things in life stand out for you, but for me, it really is all about the links that are formed between the people that surround me and the way I choose to spend my time.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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2 thoughts on “A Need for Solitude

  1. You captured exactly how I feel. And I agree - a lot of people simply are unable to comprehend our need for solitude and for one-on-one connections.
    I met my adult son at a local pub last evening and over a glass of red wine had the most amazing, deep conversation with him. My daughter and I are the same when we’re together, and it’s wonderful. This isn’t unusual for us, but I do think it’s unusual for many mothers and sons (or daughters) to enjoy really listening to what each other thinks and feels about life and about our place in this large and small world we live in. On my walk back home last evening I thought about how fortunate I am to have my adult children as friends who like to spend time with me.
    But large crowds and family gatherings and parties? I don’t do well at those - I’m torn between not being able to think of anything at all I want to talk about with the people (I’m not great at small talk), while at the same time worrying that they’re not having a good time, not being entertained, not being engaged by anyone else so I start talking to them even though I’d rather just be alone at this point - it’s a weird role I seem to take on at these events and it’s exhausting!
    Now I think I’ll read for a bit. Have a good day, Wendy.

    • Sylvia, you made my day!! I was honestly worried no one would understand what I wrote and would think I was being a bit cranky. I can so relate to what you wrote. I have 3 kids and whenever we are together we have the best conversations. I never had a close relationship with my parents and I marvel at the relationship I have with the kids. I feel so lucky each day!!

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