|Image found at this wonderful Tumblr.|
Finally, that desire has been fulfilled, and no matter how temporary it is, I love it. Some people thrive on human interaction all the time. I enjoy people, but I also need space sometimes.
"Space?" you ask. "Didn't you have your own room when you lived with other people?" Mostly, yes. But just by sharing living space with someone, I felt a stressful pressure that made me feel like I could never really be at home. I felt like even when I didn't want to, I had to put on a good face and interact with others. I need time to turn off that social side of me and let my task-oriented self focus on other things. I need breaks where I don't feel bad for not talking or for simply wanting to take a nap.
Isn't it funny that there are two words for an alone state? "Loneliness" and "solitude." One negative, one positive. I don't feel lonely--and I fully agree that could be because I still have a wonderfully supportive boyfriend who fills my need for human interaction outside of work. But this solitude is like the first installment of sweet manna from heaven. I breathe it in and it heals my soul. Who knew how wonderful letting silence engulf you could be?
I can hear a cute little family that lives above me, but often I don't even notice what's going on upstairs (though I do have to say I'm glad that they go to sleep early so I can, too), and I don't feel obligated to put on a face or interact with them when I don't feel like it or when I have other things to do. I can laugh when I hear the little boy running across the floor over and over, but I don't have to point out how cute he is to his parents every time.
I love being able to focus and get things done, I love keeping everything at my level of cleanliness, I love not being annoyed by the activities in the next room and feeling like I then have to be quiet and overly considerate in everything I do, I love that I get to be in charge of this space and that it surrounds me with light and lovely things.
Plus, to make coming home all that much more rewarding is the fact that I have four very steep hills I have to climb to get there. Home is the prize at the end of a long and tiring journey.
I feel like people are generally encouraged to be more social than some inherently need to be, and though I make an effort to allow myself to step outside of that expectation when I need to, I often feel bad about it. Being forced to come home to an empty nest is a medicine I never knew. I get to decide when to leave my haven and I don't have to feel bad about it, and that is an amazing gift. I wonder who else has discovered this secret?
And now for something a little more lighthearted.
Only one of these actually apply to me (can you guess which one?), but I thought the video was funny, so here you go. Things that seem normal when you live alone: