Monday, July 07, 2008

Why so hermit-like

I've been wondering why I've been so non-social lately. I would say anti-social but that's not really it, I mean I'm still chatty with the neighbors on the street and I'm pleasant and not any more cranky than usual with people in public, I still visit my favorite blogs - even if I don't always comment. But I haven't felt any burning desire to get together with friends or talk to anyone who actually knows me. I think I figured out why and if I'm right it's really weird.

I think I just don't feel like being entertaining.


It's really odd. And if my self-analysis is right, it's ... well... it's just really odd.

In an attempt to be visible, and accepted and good lord even liked I have spent the majority of my life being (for want of a better word) entertaining. Or at least trying to be entertaining. I work like hell to be funny, to be on, to be clever, witty and a good story teller. This is not to say that I'm breaking a sweat trying to do these things, after 40+ years it becomes reflex, just the way I am - not really work. But for the past couple of months, I guess since my bout of crazy-assed anemia-exhaustion all I've really craved is ... well ... this will sound kinda obnoxious but ... well: me.

I have always needed tons of solitary time - tons. But I have also needed reassurance and let's call it what it is: an audience. Whether one or a hundred, I needed response - needed to get a laugh. Even at my most depressed and despondent I would work for a laugh - because let's face it, who would listen to me if I didn't get them to laugh? Oh possibly lots of people, but I learned young that people only paid attention if you were funny... anything else and I became my usual: invisible.

Lately, I have taken to turning off my phone (the sound of an incoming call gives me the shakes) and not even carrying it with me. In fact in the last week I have taken to not even checking to see if anyone has called! Rude? Absolutely. But also perhaps some form of self-preservation.

Writing this blog was begun as a form of reaching out and hopefully helping someone who needed to see that you can come back healthy and happy from suicidal depression. But then to some degree it became a conduit for getting a laugh or attention. Which, I assume, is the deep-down reason I took a break from it. It's a new experience for me to pull back into hermit-mode when I'm not even the teeniest bit sad. In fact I feel quite well and possibly even better than ever. And all I really have wanted is to be on my own.

No one is more astounded than me.

Some of my very happiest times were during my solo trips to Mexico. (no offense Gary!) There was something so peaceful about not feeling the need to be 'on' or play my usual part. Sometimes when I see people, talk to people I start to feel a sort of competition - a feeling of my life is nowhere near what it should be. It can become stressful. Being solitary I feel better. I feel like this is just the beginning, my life is just as it should be and I'm exactly where I should be. I worry that my nearest and dearest will take some offense or not 'wait' for me to butterfly out of this cocoon, but then I fall back on that hokey '70's poster catch-phrase "if you love something set it free..." I mean if people begrudge me my self-exploratory hermit time, then ... welllllllll ... no.

Maybe I'm just learning how to be me, just me, without the feeling of being the entertainment for someone else so they'll like me. Maybe I'll come out of this still entertaining** but without feeling that I have to be. Wouldn't that be something?

**(it would really be something if I could sound less full of myself, huh?)


Anonymous said...

I just about never feel like being entertaining, so I totally know where you're coming from. I don't mind going out, as long as the people I go out with realize that beyond me making a joke every once in a while I don't plan on talking all that much.

And I'll still be here when you feel like becoming a bit more social again.

whimsical brainpan said...

Here's to you learning to be "just you".

I'm betting "just you" is pretty fantastic.

Gary said...

No offense taken my dear. I have always understood and desired the joys of spending time alone, which can come in waves.

I have had the same thoughts lately (which is perfect timing - we are on the same cycle). Last time I felt it this strongly I ended up taking off to New Hampshire for the summer. And that trip altered my life.

So listen to yourself. You know what is best. As for being here when you are ready to fly again - no worries. And the best part is no need to be anything but yourself. That is 'entertainment' enough. xxoo

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I completely relate to your need to solitude and not wanting to be entertaining. When I take Myers-Briggs tests, I flip-flop on being introverted-extroverted. It took a while for me to understand that introverted doesn't mean shy and retiring but that it means you get your energy from solitude, and being around people is an energy drain. When I am around people, I want to be "on" or be on my own. Maybe we both have the star syndrome, want to be in the spotlight but then retire to some tropical (or in my case) Mediterranean retreat. At least in the blog world you can be a star while typing away in solitude.

BetteJo said...

I am very much like that.

Mckay K said...

It is refreshing to read you revealing blog. I like to be alone. But, I am also happy when I am with friends or enjoying an honest conversation.

Maybe it is just me, but I think you are quite normal.