If I am given the option, I choose in most situations to be alone. Despite what others think, I am not a loner. It’s just that I don’t require the presence of others to be happy. Too many people, too much noise especially from people who talk and say nothing. These are the people who talk because they find their happiness on that side of the world. Unfortunately, I and others like me are outnumbered and as such we are the ones who are looked down upon. We are questioned because we don’t share the same need to be loud and talkative. I am questioned often about the lack of love I have for being with other people. “Why don’t you like people?” There is an assortment of other questions and with my response, I do not mean to be mean or nasty when I say, “I don’t like most other people” and I certainly don’t need others for my happiness.
I like the peace and solitude in which I find quiet. I find as I age peace and solitude have become more of a need.
John Burroughs the naturalist who never really reached the acclaim of other outdoor philosophers such as Thoreau, Muir, and Emerson was heard to say, “Communing with God is communing with our own hearts, our own best selves, not with something foreign and accidental. Saints and devotees have gone into the wilderness to find God; of course, they took God with them, and the silence and detachments enabled them to hear the still, small voice of their own souls, as one hears the ticking of his own watch in the stillness of the night.” Those who struggle to find the beauty in silence are condemned to hear the utterances of their own voices and have only that noise as companionship.
As I took the time to saunter along the beach, crowded with others but alone with the thoughts in my head, I was reminded of the contentment which I achieve when I saunter alone. I enjoy just taking in the scenery and wish to share it with others and am dumbfounded by those who look at the scene in which I find awe and simply state, “That’s nice.” Those are not the individuals with whom I wish to spend my alone time.
When I saunter, I prefer to do it on foot. Either walking or on one of my daily runs will do. When I run, especially on the weekends, I prefer to do it at a time where I can reach certain locations at just the right time. The “right time” is the time I can be on a certain bridge or along the riverfront to be able to stop and take in the sunrise.
“Solitude is dangerous. It’s very addictive. It becomes a habit after you realize how peaceful and calm it is. It’s like you don’t want to deal with people anymore because they drain your energy.” This is a quote which is often attributed to Jim Carrey. Regardless, it hits home with me. The more time I spend with others, the more I realize I need and want time alone for me
I need to saunter more often and embrace the quiet.