“Whoever cannot spend two-thirds of the day alone, doing what he pleases, is a slave.” ~Nietzsche
With the ice storms of the last several days, I have not seen another person since Monday of the this week. I’ve had a few short telephone conversations in that time—one to a friend, two about rescheduling of my hair cut due to the storm, and one wrong number. I’ve had the usual emails, instant messages, and Facebook interactions, but even those have been drastically decreased compared to normal these past few days.
So I have spent my days completely and gloriously alone, with only the company of my two cats (who are delighted with the extra attention). I have no television, but have not even turned on the radio or other music. The silence is heavenly; the solitude, healing. And it has been a particularly blessed time because it is entirely guilt free; there’s no where I could have gone anyway in this icy mess even if I had wanted to.
So many of my friends are complaining about how stir-crazy they are feeling being stuck at home. I’m hearing this both from those who live alone and from those who live with others. For some, it seems to be more about wanting to get out of their house. For others, it’s about a need for more interaction with other people.
I have always been aware of how different from others I am in this regard. In a world full of extroverts, I am the misfit as an extreme introvert who loves nothing more than nesting at home alone. I used to see it as an enormous fault that I needed to try to fix. I’ve slowly come to accept it as just part of who I am. But as I’ve read of my friends’ discomfort and angst over this forced time at home, I’ve realized that it is actually a blessing.
As someone who lives alone, has few friends to hang out with, will have minimal interaction with people in her new part-time job, and who is trying to save money by going out less, the fact that I love to spend time at home by myself is a wonderful thing. Given the amount of time I will soon have at home and the lack of people interaction that will go with it, my temperament is the greatest asset I could possibly ask for.
There is such a delicious sense of freedom in the ability to be home alone for such a long period of time. There is such joy in being free to be able to do whatever I wish to do whenever I wish to do it. And I have not been at peace like this is a long time from having the time and the space to just BE—with no other demands on me except to do whatever I please.
I feel blessed and grateful tonight to have been created as I am. My cup runneth over. For the moment, I feel like a slave who has earned her freedom. Sweet solitude, what bliss!