I’ve spent the last few days mostly alone while my guy DJ’s on Miami. While I miss having him around, I also have enjoyed the solo time.
For example, today I was aptly un-entertained enough to discover I’ve finally grown my hair out enough to have a for-real ponytail again! (This picture was me showing of my just barely visibly legitimate pony to my husband via text.)
But once that little adventure was complete, I got it together enough to go out and do some shopping (my niece had to bail on prom shopping due to lack of parental consent). I found, as I have before, that I love my solitude when I’m out among strangers. I’m an introvert of sorts by nature, but the common misconception about introverts is that we don’t like to socialize or be out with people. The reality is that we just need to be able to get away and recharge on our own. A lot of interaction sort of sucks the life out of us after a while. (Business mingling, I’m reasonably certain, is the thing that will ultimately lead to my undoing. I’ll be reserving my room at the local mental health facility soon.)
So the observer role, for me, can be pretty valuable. I never feel as though I’m lonely when I’m alone in that way. I feel both connected and entirely separate from the people around me. I get to choose which interactions I want to be part of, and which I want to avoid. I can live in my own mind without interruption without being isolated. What are their stories? What are they thinking? What brought them here? Where are they going? How are we similar or different?
It’s only when I’m feeling – or actually – isolated that I am lonely. Being home alone for more than 24 hours is like that. I love the quiet, I love the solitude, I love the independence (probably more than anything)…until I don’t. Then I begin to feel lonely and restless.
So that’s when I enjoy talking to strangers, despite my oh-so-introvertedness. when I’m out doing whatever I’m doing.
Today I talked to an Israeli man, an adorable cashier at Express, a homeless woman outside the grocery store, a very cool massage therapist, and a pilot standing in line at Starbucks.
Now it’s dark in my bedroom, I’m listening to Boyce Avenue on Pandora, and I have two dogs taking up the space (and more) that my guy usually occupies. And I’m a little lonely.
But tomorrow’s another day for talking to strangers.