I’ve just finished a couple of days in the hot springs of the San Juan Mountains; the drive back gave me time to revisit a topic which has haunted me much of my life- why has so much of my life been spent alone? A massage and soaking in hot springs certainly relaxed me, but it also put me in a vacation setting where it seems everyone was part of a family, on an excursion with a friend or building the fire of a romantic relationship. Being alone in “paradise” makes me feel weird and wondering if others label me as odd.
I guess we’re all layered beings and I believe I now know my primary layers. My family of origin had its share of challenges- neglect being one and sibling competition another; I guess I think of this as layer one. I’ll label my introverted-ness layer two. Layer three is the issues of health- primarily toxicity all related manifestations. While I call these layers, it's more of a tossed salad with chunks of avocado and tomato floating to the top on occasion.
I've tried to deal with my layers. I went for counseling for one of my years in Pennsylvania (at $9 per session, it was affordable) and felt I’d been opened for operation, but been given no tools for closure- I guess cheap counseling doesn't always pay off. I've studied the research on being an introvert and have tried some approaches to better socializing. I am taking a functional medicine approach to balancing biochemistry and undoing toxicity; this has already helped tremendously.
Back to the topic of being alone. It may be I spent too much of my infancy and childhood alone; this may have left me with the need for physical touch, but the lack of feeling comfortable with it. As one who falls far towards the introvert side of the introvert/ extrovert scale, I certainly need some alone time to “recharge”. It may be I've fallen into a catch 22 of people thinking he spends his time alone therefore he likes being alone; our species is a social one and no one likes feeling always alone.
Solitude is very different from being alone; it suggests I have chosen isolation for my benefit. Going for a quiet walk in nature or stretching out in my hammock tends to quiet any monkeys bouncing around in my head. It brings balance.
When I think of all the time I've spent alone, it makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong and questions come to mind- do I make people uneasy? Am I difficult to deal with? Do I need to shower more? And exactly what is it about me that makes people think- He’s soooo weird!?
We’re all different and, yet, connected. I have empathy for everyone I meet; we’re all on challenging paths. Maybe I think too much of being the lonely loner and need to see myself as a social socialist (okay, that’s a little goofy)? Maybe I need to get a dog? Maybe I’ve a mail order bride in my future? Who knows?
Where’s my social scene right now? I’ve got a new housemate. Catherine and I decided to no longer date. A friend has recently stopped communicating with me. I’ve got a nurse and her pets moving into the basement at the beginning of August. I’m beginning to plan a story telling party to have before the school year begins. I guess, socially, I’m busier than some.
While I write in silence, my intent is to be heard by, at least, one other. Let me know a loner I am not.