Stomping Through The Sod Fields.

As a kid, I spent a pretty decent amount of time alone – we lived in the countryside, I was an only child, and my parents weren’t big believers in entertaining me.  There were 7 kids living within biking/walking-distance from my home, and only 3 of them were the same age as me (the rest were younger siblings) – and I really only liked one of them.

When I wasn’t in school, I spent most of my time reading books, playing with various toys (barbie, hot wheels, lego), or aimlessly wandering around the fields, orchards, and small forests around my home.  I built forts. I dug holes in the potato fields. I climbed trees. I skulked around the sugar shack.

I enjoyed being alone. I still genuinely like it.

There comes a point in most days where I absolutely need some time to myself. I can feel myself getting more and more irritable and short-tempered. I need to not hear anyone else breathing or talking. Ideally, it’s a time when I can let my focus shift and my brain can relax – not driving or working from home, but just slacking. Listening to my own thoughts.  God help anyone who interrupts me once my brain has shut down for a spell. My nerves need to regenerate, or something.

I have often wondered how well I would do living alone, without in-person social contact. I don’t mean solitary confinement-style – that sounds awful – but the sort of life where I didn’t see anyone for days, or weeks, or even months on end. A cabin in the woods, say.

I suspect I’d get weirder than I already am; I maintain a pretty loose grasp on social skills at the best of times.  But I wonder where my thoughts would go. I wonder how I would fill my days if I wasn’t forced to socialize and then have my ‘alone time’ limited simply by nature of living around other people.  Assuming I could get past the weirdness of being fully self-reliant, assuming I didn’t spend my days and nights curled up in a panic-ball waiting for a murderer to come crashing through the forest.. what would happen?

There are plenty of times when I enjoy being around people. I love my husband and I really like seeing his face and snugging up to him. I like my friends.  I enjoy my clients’ presence. I like chatting with the grocery store cashier and the random person in line with me for shawarma.  I am not averse to human beings, generally.

But would I go back to aimlessly wandering around in the woods? Would I start playing with barbies again and have long, drawn-out conversations at their staged tea parties? Would I devour thousands of books in a year?  Or would I just be lonely and weird and eventually become some sort of Unabomber-esque shadow person?  How long would it take before I reached my limit of weirdness?

 

One thought on “Stomping Through The Sod Fields.

  1. Olya

    “Alone time” is what I miss most about the summers I spent at the village, growing up – the ability to just walk in the woods, look at flowers, sit in the attic with a book.

    I suspect we both get a lot less “alone time” than we need for optimal functioning. After a couple months recharging in peaceful solitude, we’ll feel a lot better…

    Reply

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