It’s Friday night. People told you about events that were going on this evening- they maybe even invited you along in the off chance you’d show up. They know better.
You’re not alone.
You may be physically alone most times but there are thousands, perhaps millions of people who are just like you- just like me who often take pleasure in solitude. I’m not talking about being a total hermit that lives off in the mountains without the Google-able (new word?) address. Nor am I referring to the folks who recoil into solitude due to a breakup or some bout of clinical depression (if that’s the case- please seek the help you need). Those reasons are not really the best definition of a loner.
My definition is one of a person who actually prefers solitude. They have friends and family they regularly communicate with, they may even work with masses of people but when the day comes to a close, after all that noise and talking and listening and problem solving is done- they are completely satisfied with the silence and quiet that awaits them later on. They prefer it to be like that all day long in the first place. Days off are filled with solitary activities and you may even avoid crowds and larger population- related activities.
There was a book I read, that clears the air on what it’s like to prefer solitude. It’s called Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto by Anneli Rufus. She does a good job explaining her perspective as to why loners are often labeled misfits, deviants, psychopaths and others (hint: which is primarily due to societal expectations). Writers are often the loner types. I discovered that when I suddenly fell into my passion for writing years ago and found myself anxiously awaiting the time to go home so I could write scenarios for my novel. Even in the midst of working and going to school full time I always had the desire to stay up an extra hour and type away. Part of it was because I was an eager author but mostly because it was an activity that I could focus on 100% without the need to interact much with others. It’s not that I’m rude or grumpy whenever I do have to interact with people which is often in my line of work. It’s just that I severely prefer one method of being over another. After reading this manifesto of sorts I became even more confident in my loneliness and there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact there are many others who by choice choose to go places and do activities on a solo basis.
Are you a loner? Do you agree or disagree?