Another brilliant post idea from Ileandra Young.
This is an odd one for me to answer, because I’m a solitary individual as it is. I’m the sort of person who prefers to be one-on-one when in company, and who is usually counted on to be a homebody; I enjoy doing work around the house, I like to be by myself and reading a book in the park. I am great in crowds and conversations, but being solo is just where I feel best. It’s when I do my best writing, and when I feel that I can do anything I please.
It doesn’t mean I’m depressed. It doesn’t mean I need to get out more. I just like it, and there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, solo, homebody, or whatnot. It actually irks me quite a bit when people don’t understand why I don’t want to go out on one day or the next, or why I tend to go alone when traveling.
It’s just how I am. Take it or leave it, people.
But that said, there are times where feeling alone is more a hindrance than a help. Behind the cut, because I will proceed to reminisce/wax personal.
The first time I remember feeling alone was when I was maybe 12. I didn’t grow up with much in terms of material things, which is fine by me, but the one thing that I always wanted was to write, even before then. My parents were/are very old-school, as far as their mentality that in order to succeed, you absolutely must become a doctor, scientist, or mathematician. Anything else was construed as a complete failure.
When I got that talk, primarily from my father, who had threatened to turn me out of the house if I didn’t follow the path that I was told, I knew right away that I was on my own. I wanted to write and be creative for a living, not be stuck in a lab doing something that, ultimately, I didn’t want to do in the first place, just to make someone else happy. But consider also that I was 12. People don’t know at 40 what they want to do with their lives, but I was expected to follow something at the age of twelve. Yes, it made no sense to me then, and makes no sense to me now. Also, I had disowned my father, for various reasons, this being only one.
The thing is, though, that was the first time I felt like I was a completely separate individual from my family unit. I did not identify with them. I had nothing whatsoever in common with them and their mentality. And of course, I did everything in my power not to go along with their mentality, and although I am not financially stable or well-off (and probably won’t be for some time), I cannot be happier, because I did what I felt was best for me.
Similar happened when I was in college, and working out the intricacies of organized crime structure (hey, I loved my classes in school, shush!), and you would not believe the expression on some people’s faces when I would walk them through what the class involved. The replies that I received were, invariably, a blank face and, occasionally, “Why would you even like that?!”
That was jarring. The biggest reason I liked criminal justice and its classes was because it was a massive brain-teaser in the form of human psychology. I liked puzzling these things out; I liked using my brain to figure things out in my head. To me, hearing that and seeing the facial expression that clearly conveyed a massive WTF translated to, “I don’t like to think about very much.” Uh…yeah. Having that in a university… yeah. I felt like a fish out of the water.
Until next time,