|Onyx & "Onyxina"|
For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I spent this past week in the company of my four year old #weeniece. Yep, my sister thought it'd be hilarious to let me be the lone caretaker of miniature her.
Best. Birth Control. Ever.
This morning I woke without the aid of a small hand on my cheek. I had my first cup of coffee without being handed a very wet diaper by a half-naked boing-boing. The beastie made it outside without enduring a game of Which Foot Goes In Which Shoe. I write this blog post without a forty pound squirmy blanket pleading to play princess/doctor/puppy/mommy.
I am alone with my silence.
Okay, okay, the beastie and I are alone in our silence. Some of you may think, "erf, poor girl" and others of you may think "woohoo!" For me, solitude is a good thing. It's more than good.
Solitude is necessary.
Being comfortable in one's skin to the extent of being content in the company of self is a milestone to be celebrated. It's also a private accomplishment very contrary to our hive society. Everyday we're bombarded with messages demanding we interact, contribute, participate, be among the pack. Those without a dependency on others are regarded as broken. Maladjusted. Odd.
I'm happy being odd.
Put me in a room filled with ancillary loved ones, friends of friends, or the second-degree intimacy group and a strange thing happens -- I get pitiful glances, sympathetic pats, and hushed words of concern thinly masking chastisements for my preference for solitude.
I pity those who can't be happy alone.
How miserable it must be to depend on others for joy, peace, or contentment. We all know it's very possible to be alone in a crowd. We all know "that person" who stays in an unhappy relationship out of fear of being alone. We all know someone so desperate for acceptance that their decision-making is compromised. I'm referring to adults here.
You can't make good choices if you're afraid of being alone with yourself.
I asked my wee niece why she needed my constant attention. Her answer? "I don't like being alone." My gut reaction? "You need to learn to like it." Not being a child development expert, I didn't push the issue. I don't want her to confuse independence with abandonment. I'm not sure at what point in a person's life the natural survival instinct to be dependent on protectors and providers should change. I am certain that it ought to change.
Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone. ~Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now
Do you remember when you became comfortable with you? Are you still working towards private contentment? What steps did you take / are you taking to achieve it?