Everyone everywhere needs a daily dose of solitude to reclaim their sanity. Sometimes it helps to step back and just breathe. I was being conditioned to enjoy solitude from as far back as I can remember. I didn’t always enjoy it and at times dreaded time alone, felt tortured, and isolated. Somewhere along the way I realized I needed to learn to enjoy my own company, then I got to the point I preferred it.
Because there was a 7 year age gap between me and my sister, I learned early that as far as playmates went, I didn’t have any. She certainly wanted absolutely nothing to do with the likes of me. I had to learn, and learn quick how to amuse myself and be comfortable playing alone. I would have given anything to meld perfectly with a group of friends that accepted me and wanted me around. Even if I felt included in early grades by the time puberty hit, I was abandoned by my peers and forced to wander the outskirts of the social clicks.
My feelings were shattered by the rejection. I always felt my mom was in denial about my level of popularity among my peers. Just because everyone I passed said hello at school functions, it still didn’t mean they included me. They were friendly, and I was always the outsider, although in hindsight after being hurt time and again I believe I learned to hold everyone at arms length. After a while I found I loved to read and far preferred my books to the ridicule I found outside their pages. It certainly was more fun than trying to figure out why I wasn’t accepted or what was wrong with me.
Up until the time of my mom’s death, I had her as a faithful companion. We had so much fun and were like two peas in a pod. When she died I was forced into a solitude like I never had known before. I went to work and came home to a deathly silent house. I began to watch videos and play piano to break up the monotony. I would do anything in those dark days following her death to break the silence. I rushed out to the bar scene, made friends that were here today and gone tomorrow, and when my Dad came home slowly became dependent on his company. I realized how much I enjoyed my Dad’s company and how funny he truly was. By the time he died, I had a daughter and a husband who thought the world of me.
I devoted all my time and energy into my kids. I became the epitome of the stay at home mommy. Last fall, my son left me for kindergarten. I came back into the house and noticed the house was silent, felt empty, and I was utterly alone again. By the time this hit, I had learned to enjoy the solitude. I reveled in the quiet. I busied myself with my writing, buried myself in books as I always had, and got more housework done than ever before. After a week it dawned on me that no one else was in the house save me and my menagerie of pets. If I wanted to play music full blast, who would care? If I wanted to wear pajamas all day, who cared? As long as I was dressed and pressed before my little darlings arrived from school it was all good. I discovered what it was like to go to the store without a couple of kids attached at the hip. I discovered freedom, and I discovered I liked it! I liked the silence broken only by the soft hum of the dryer.
I use this time to reconnect with myself. I have realized that being alone is very much apart of who I am as a person. Why else would I have married a man who chose a profession that has him gone all but 4-6 days a month? It isn’t a life for everyone, but very much a life for me. I enjoy spending time with my husband and kids, but love my solitude and alone time as well. I keep to myself, and always have. After 43 years on this planet, I finally have decided that my love of solitude is OK. It is in these moments when I hear G0d most clearly. When it comes right down to it, I am never totally alone because HE is always with me until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.