The Virtuous Vituperator

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The older I get, and I'm not that old, the more I appreciate solitude. For the people who ask you to do dinner just to have a person to talk to so they won't appear to be the lonliest person in the world, I ask you, what is so terrible about taking a meal with a book or the paper? Or just going to eat because you like the food somewhere? It's boring?

Have we socialized ourselves into being afraid of being alone?

It seems as though we have. Everything in society and the media tells us it is bad to be alone. Get married, have children, attend parties, there are more nightclubs than ever before, drink to be social, smoke to be social, be social at McDonald's and more. Even therapy. You have a problem? Why attempt to sort through it yourself when you can talk to someone? While I support therapy's benefits, are we required to bounce everything off of someone else for their opinion, approval or telling us to figure it out on our own?

I have friends, family, husband, children and the things that are supposed to keep us fulfilled. I love them all. What is wrong with occassionally wanting to be alone? It doesn't mean I am anti-social, it just means I don't have to be around everyone all the time. If I don't call every second or third day, don't be offended, perhaps I was busy. You haven't been knocked out of my heart and head.

I like being social. I think most people would describe me as a very friendly person. I also like quiet and alone time. I had to learn to take it and appreciate it, but I find it is one of the greatest things I have given myself. The ability to do things alone is something that actually takes practice. Ask your friends to lunch and tell them you will meet them inside and see how many wait for you at the door or outside anyway. If you are late and they must sit alone, too many people would be uneasy with that aloneness.

I've been on a quest to understand my own peculiarities and become more at ease with myself. I don't like self-loathing. It has been incredibly destructive to me mentally. Doing this requires me to take time to meditate/reflect. To think deeply, or to not think at all requires no outside influence. Now that I do this several times a week I find myself on a much more even keel about not needing to please others all the time. *when I say all the time, I mean all the time!

The growing me I refer to as "The New Beth" because I hated the Old Beth. Both in the first and third person! I embrace the ability to simply go to a restaurant and enjoy a good meal on my own. So if you see me sitting there reading and eating, don't insist on joining me or me joining you because you think I must be lonely to eat lunch alone. Simply wave hello, perhaps make a greeting, and let me enjoy my time, my way.