Thursday, September 8, 2011


by Allison Pang

It's been an interesting set of posts this week. I've actually really enjoyed reading how my fellow word-whores handle solitude and their need for it. I find myself more akin to Jeffe's post in many ways - where I'm happiest if I can come and go as I need to.

(If you've noticed the last few months I haven't been as active here - it's not a stand-offish thing - just that I've needed to take some personal time to regroup and recharge. I've withdrawn from a fair amount of things. Undoubtedly I'll swing the other way in a bit and be a bit more social, but for now it's just what I need to do.)

In the meantime, I did want to mention that there is a difference between craving solitude or being able to handle it vs being forced into it.  I was a loner as a kid - one of those fairly familiar odd-child-out stories. I was bullied. I was a geek. I was smart, if socially immature. (The usual sort of recipe, I suppose.)

There were plenty of times where I *wanted* to be social and part of the crowd, but I was denied that because I didn't fit in. So I think that even though some people are born introverts or require solitude to recharge their batteries, I suspect sometimes it's actually more of a defense mechanism. You learn to be alone because there isn't any other choice - whether that's due to bully avoidance or because no one wants to play with you doesn't really matter. It becomes more of an nature vs nurture thing.

And of course life changes. Even for me, things got much better in high school and college. I was never a social butterfly, but I certainly wasn't alone anymore. Still, as bad as things were at the time, I don't really regret what happened. After all, being forced to amuse myself is what lead to so much reading and internal storytelling, which would eventually lead me here.

And that's not a bad thing at all.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting point. I was a total social butterfly as a little kid - I remember this. Never happy unless I had a friend. Like you, it was the social ugliness that partly taught me to value my solitude. But even back then, when I was more social, I was always slipping off into the woods by myself, or burying my nose in a book.