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.
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