During this time of lockdown, I’ve come to a realisation: I like being alone.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy human interaction as much as the next person. Well…maybe not nearly as much as the next person.
Sometimes dealing with people drains you and you’d like some peace and quiet for a change, without people demanding things every other second.
The point is I like my own company and being by myself and bouncing thoughts off myself. I like operating on my own time, in my own space, in my own head.
And perhaps on some level, I can’t stand the complications of engaging and catering to the needs of other people. Some days it just feels like everyone just wants something from you. Boy, I sound like a proper sociopath, don’t I?
Does that make me damaged or deranged? Am I defective in some way?
Or am I just a true introvert?
I used to believe I was an extrovert, feeling alive and energised in the presence of others. But now, after a long day out I just feel drained and depleted like a Vespene Gas mine. Now I relish the thought of spending an evening with just me and my earphones and running shoes, my guitar, the night, the silence.
Does that mean I’ll be forever alone? Let’s not get all reductio ad absurdum now. Of course not – I imagine there will still be room for social activities. But my limit for them might be a lot lower. Perhaps there is a natural order of things that gradually reduces our need or yearning for attention and constant interaction.
Or maybe I’ll just end up a crazy cat person.
My tolerance for people’s bovine faecal matter is waning, and I realise that with age and maturity it’s not your tolerance level that grows, but rather the apathy and ability to not care about things that don’t matter. Discerning what matters.
Is there someone out there who won’t drain me and exhaust me? Someone who matches my energy levels or jives with my flow?
I imagine even in relationships, sometimes people need a hiatus from each other, no matter how brief. I was listening to a discussion recently about how sleeping separately is not necessary a bad sign, but rather a mature move by two people who care about each other enough to accept that being well-rested is more important than trying to maintain the image of traditional love and cramming into the same bed.
That concept resonates with me, the thought that being in a committed relationship doesn’t mean that you’re glued to each other at the waist. Sure, some couples can spend every waking moment staring into each other’s eyes, but realistically most people have their own jobs and activities and lives not intimately linked with their romantic relationship. Hell, it’s probably necessary to keep the relationship alive.
I feel a relationship should be two people committed to growing together, but still with room to develop individually. Perhaps the thought of your counterpart potentially changing into different characters as the days go by scares you. Maybe you cling to the relationship to save and redeem you.
But the fact of the matter is, you don’t have control over other people. Only yourself.
As much as you try to gaslight or manipulate others so they feel like they need you and you alone, your insecurities will consume yourself as well as everyone around you.
So give other people the same freedom, the same space that you would wish for yourself.
Everyone needs their own space, and I have found mine.
Cats. Lots of them.