In Defense of “Loneliness”
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Why do people always assume that someone who’s alone a lot must be lonely?
Take me, for example.
I lead what most people would consider a lonely life.
I spend most of my time alone—reading, writing, working. My idea of a “fun” night is curling up with a book and a glass of wine, not heading out to some loud restaurant with a bunch of people so I can struggle to hear them talk over the clamor of the crowd and the boom of the piped-in music.
To most other people, that sounds pathetic. I know. And I’m aware that people pity me. They tell me I need to “break out of my rut,” “make some friends,” “take up a hobby.”
The thing is, I already DO all those things; I just tend to do them on my own.
Break out of my rut? I’m not in a rut. How could I be? This week alone, through the power of my imagination, combined with the written word and a little bit of Netflix, I solved murders across America and observed mountain gorillas in Africa with Dian Fossey.
That? Can hardly be called a rut.
Make some friends? Oh, sure. Let me make some friends like the ones I already have, who make me pay more than my share when we got out to lunch and spend the whole time we’re out chewing my ear off with boring tales about their boring kids (whom I’ve never even met), never once expressing any interest in what I might be doing.
The friends I’ve made in my novels—the ones I read and the ones I write—treat me better than those I know in real life, so why be treated badly when I can be alone and be happy?
Take up a hobby? Ha! I do more hobbies before breakfast than you’ve done your whole life, scoffers.
I run; I do yoga; I study Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin, and ancient Greek; I have memorized the Period Table of Elements; I am well versed in the finer parts of mythology—both Greco-Roman and Egyptian; I study art and architecture; I learn about history (especially Tudor England, the Italian Renaissance, and ancient Egypt, though I’ve recently started to explore Byzantium); and I’m a proficient cook, actively engaged in an ongoing exploration of the cuisines of the world.
Trust me, I am not lacking when it comes to entertainment.
I just prefer to be alone.
I know I’m a nerd, and I don’t mind being the person other people laugh at. Those people? Don’t get it. I have led a THOUSAND lives, thanks to the “lonely” way I live. Those other people who think I’m wasting my life are the ones who are doing it wrong. :)
Oh, and here's today's haiku:
Haiku #100 (of 365):
One hundred haikus
I’m celebrating today
These things aren’t easy!