Thursday, October 16, 2008


i've been sitting around lately.
trying to find projects to keep me busy.

consequently, doing a lot of thinking.
that's what happens when i'm left alone with myself.

we weren't created to be alone.
and i'm not talking about being lonely. that's not it.

i was once asked to consider the difference between solitude and alone.
and the past couple of months have taught me a lot about those two things. they're not the same, you know.

my first response, when faced with the two, was that they were the same.
i like being alone. i need solitude. it's necessary for survival.
and after a few months of mostly solitude, i've experienced the difference.

i'm solitary by nature. i do need it. it is necessary.
i have not been working, which is daily contact with others, whether you want it or not. i discovered that i have gone entire days (sometimes a couple) without talking. i laugh when i answer the telephone at 3pm and someone asks me if i just woke up because i haven't actually used my voice that day yet. i've gone days without stepping outside, because there was nowhere i needed to go or nowhere i needed to be. and given the choice to stay home or go hang out at barnes and noble with coffee and a magazine, i most always chose stay home. i enjoy solitude. it is not lonely. it is contentedly being alone.
solitude is a choice.
solitude is the choice i usually choose.

and after months of solitude,
after months of being alone,
i realized that i had stopped choosing. alone had chosen me. and alone is not a choice.
alone is when you realize that there are not people in your daily life. it is when you realize that, even though you don't want to be constantly surrounded by people, or activity, there is a marked absence of people or activity...and you didn't choose this. when i had roommates, i wasn't alone. when i worked with other people, i wasn't alone. when i choose to be integrally involved with other people, i am not alone.

of course you know that you can be in a room full of people and be lonely. the absence of alone does not ensure the absence of loneliness. but i do think that alone is the opposite of solitude. one chooses you...the other you choose. and i think loneliness happens when alone chooses you.

i realized that somewhere along the way, i let alone choose me. because of the circumstances of my life, it happened quite easily. the people in my life that i am closest to do not live nearby. i haven't really tried to make connections with the people i know who live locally. and even though i am fortunate to have deep, amazing friendships, i've realized that i need people here, in my everyday, to do life with.

solitude is still necessary, but it is temporary.
i need people in my everyday.
it's time for me to move my life,
not just my home,

and i've finally chosen to do something about it...



"it is good to remember that we need each other greatly, you and i, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than most of the time we dare to admit." - fredrick buechner

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