My mom doesn’t understand why I do things alone. I go to movies alone, I attend lectures and seminars alone, I travel alone. Sometimes, it’s because I want to. Sometimes, it’s because I can’t find anyone to go with me. I live in a world of my own creation, which means that I have certain topics and subjects I enjoy, and I just go with these wherever they take me.
Having a certain political leaning means that you are aware of certain authors, intellectuals, historians, journalists that the average public isn’t aware of. Not because you’re smarter than the average public, but because this is the niche you’ve created for yourself and enjoy being a part of.
Having a certain taste in movies, or, more accurately in my case, having a certain personality, means that you enjoy certain movies. I’m a romantic, which means that I enjoy immersing myself in fantasy lands to an extent that many people don’t. I love going to the theater, but movies I am willing to pay for to experience in the theater are rare enough that I want to enjoy them completely if I do go. Sometimes, the only way to do this is to go by yourself.
I went to a lecture yesterday and was telling my mom about it. “Where you there by yourself,” she asked, “Or did you go with a friend?”
“No, I was alone.”
This weirded her out, the same way she’s weirded out when I go to movies alone.
I enjoy meeting new people on my own. I’m not seeking to meet new friends, I can barely keep up with the ones I have, but I do enjoy talking to like minded people at events, discovering new points of view, and experiencing life in ways I would not be able to if I were with someone.
I’m independent to a fault (at least my mom thinks so!), and I like the freedom of arriving places when I want, and leaving when I want. I like the freedom of leaving an event and spontaneously deciding to go somewhere else, wherever I feel like going. No one to hold me back, no one to get in the way, no one to stop me. It’s a very pleasant way to live, alhamdulillah.
I do get lonely at times, I’m human after all, but that loneliness is my own creation. If I want, I can find friends to go out with. The difference is, I choose that on my own time, in my own way.
Enjoying something is different than being at peace. I enjoy myself immensely with friends. We laugh at silly things, talk about interesting things, and just enjoy one anothers company. Being at peace when you’re alone is different. It’s enjoyable in a very different way. I really enjoyed myself at the lecture yesterday. I absorbed everything the speaker said, took notes, got my book autographed. But the solitude was…peaceful. I’ve discovered that, for the most part, I feel solitude the most when I’m not speaking. It’s a way of discovering yourself when you’re surrounded by people at a large gathering and don’t speak to anyone for the three or four hours that you’re there. This is the part my mom doesn’t understand. “Isn’t it fun,” she asked, “to have a friend with you? To have someone to talk to?”
Perhaps it would be, but it’s also very peaceful to not have that someone to talk to. Is this strange? After an entire post on liking solitude, I’m not sure why I prefer doing things alone and being by myself. 🙂