I am a solitude seeker. People worry about me because of it. They think I’m somehow disenfranchised. They say I’m a loner, like it’s a bad thing. I am a loner. I have said that I’ve never been lonely. I’m being honest in that. I don’t recall being lonely. I’m quite at peace all by myself.
I go to a wonderful church. I love my church. My church wants people to live in a community of faith together. They want us to “do life” together. Get connected they tell me. I think I’m an enigma to some of the wonderful people at my church. I am connected. In my own way, truly I am. But they love me and so they are concerned. On the positive side, they are open to weird people like me, so they are starting to “get” me. They don’t push me or wonder if I’m ok anymore. But I can tell that they still want me around more because when I do show up at a gathering someone will undoubtedly say with great glee, “Sara’s here ”, like “Santa’s here ” You get the inflection of the voice. They’re surprised and they love me, so they’re happy. You gotta love these crazy connected community types.
Still, I’m a solitude seeker. I like to be quiet and read and think. On my really good days, I pray and meditate and worship. On my off days, I sit and stare and eat fat free cool whip straight from the tub. It’s all good. I was once embarrassed by my loner ways. I’m kind of a contradiction because I’m pretty good in front of a crowd. Public speaking? Love it. Give me three hundred people, I’m on it. One to one, different story. I’m a social special needs child. I bond kind of slowly, like over ten years or so. I’m quiet at parties. I am perfectly content to sit against a wall and watch. When it’s my turn to talk I get red in the face, stutter, feel foolish, look for the nearest exit. Yeah, weird. Told ya.
So, is it wrong to be a solitude seeker? I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve an answer largely reached by my faith community of connected friends. No, it is not wrong. You see, the major obstacle for the solitude seeker is that by her lack of being there all of the time, she doesn’t always feel she has friends. Frankly, we solitude seekers don’t needs lots of friends, so don’t start weeping for us yet. But when those inevitable moments of parties happen, we are not at our best. My friends at church though, are solitude seeker friendly. You see, I love these guys. These get together, small group, let’s have lunch, talking on the phone Christians God has graciously placed in my life love my solitude seeking self. So it’s ok if I’m at every third event. They make me feel welcome. I never feel like I’m on the outside. It’s a good situation for a solitude seeker. So thanks guys, for that.
Solitude seekers aren’t lonesome. I have the aforementioned crazy connected ones forever willing to take me in. I also have my Mr. and daboyz. Although I’ve never been lonely in my recollection, I do need the presence of these three men. I don’t need them around 24/7. That would be a bit much, frankly. But they are my touchstones. I could take solitude seeking to unhealthy extremes to be quite honest. Because I seem to be missing the lonely gene, I am quite capable of staying in my house and becoming a lunatic cat woman, minus the cats as they are sneaky. These guys balance me. They remind me that people are good for me. That I need to talk and laugh and wonder about things outside my head. They distract me, they focus me, they thrill me and make me nuts. They mess up my house and give me a reason to be more than I was yesterday.
I have my family around whom I am comfortable enough to not be the red-faced party girl of a few paragraphs ago. With them I belt out karaoke and act a fool. They think I can do anything. They’re wrong, but it’s nice press.
I have wonderful friends and colleagues at work. I have a circle of friends whom I don’t speak to daily but who would run to my aid and I know love me deeply. I have a ridiculous dog who wears a red sweater and sleeps 23 out of 24 hours a day.
Still, I’m a solitude seeker. I like my aloneness. I need it the way social butterflies need conversation. We all sort through life in different ways and this is mine. I’m happy. A happy unlonely solitude seeker.
So thank you, Metrosouth Church family, who lets me seek solitude and still be connected. Thank you family who knows I hate the phone but e mails me constantly. Thank you my sweet Mr. and daboyz who just brazenly exert their loud loving laughing selves into my quiet and ordered world. This is why I’m not lonely. Never have been.
Done right, we all fit together, I guess. Seems like that’s the way we’re supposed to work. Seems like I’ve read that somewhere in my solitude seeking time. Seems like it works pretty good.
Romans 12:4 & 5
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.