I have valued my quiet time and solitude my entire life. So much so that I was often labeled anti social when I was growing up. Crowds do not interest me or make me feel better. In fact, I hate crowds. They just drain the life out of me. I love solitude because it gives me a chance to recharge and analyze. The quiet doesn’t bother me. In fact, I thrive in quiet environments. It’s one of the reasons I choose to live in small towns. I think much of our problems in the ealry 21st century come from the fact that we as a civilization no longer value silence and moments of stillness. A lot of mistakes could be avoided if we as individuals and nations just took a few moments to evaluate the long term consequences of our actions and words.
I have never sought to be the center of attention. I actually hate being watched by people. So much so it’s why I chose to live alone once I got out of college. Nothing bugs me more than people looking over my shoulder or listening in on my phone conversations. I cannot have a conversation on the phone and with someone in the room at the same time. It annoyed me to no end as a kid when I would be on the phone and have my parents or brother trying to tell me what to say. I didn’t dare complain about it because it would have made a major argument with my family while I was trying to have said phone conversation. I literally do not have the ability to carry on two conversations at the same time. It’s physically impossible for me.
I also suck at multitasking. The closest thing to multitasking I can do is play computer games and listen to audiobooks at the same time. I never could talk on the phone, cook supper, clean up messes, and smack my older brother at the same time. I have to focus on only one task at a time. I can easily focus on one task for hours at a time. The limit I have on how long I can focus on one task is how long I can sit down without getting knee pain or muscle cramps. The barrier to me is physical and not mental.
I wasn’t bother by the lockdowns of the pandemic as much as most people. In fact, I rather enjoyed the forced quiet and solitude. I loved having an acceptable reason to stay home, read, binge watch youtube videos, and spend the day in sweat pants and hoodies. Most people have this dumb idea that because I spend my time alone and in quiet that I am bored or missing out on life. No I’m not. I have worked jobs before. I have gone to parties. I have gone to ballgames. I have gone bar hopping in my younger years. I have gone to concerts. I have been to weddings and funerals. I pretty much know how these things are going to turn out. I got paid for the trouble I put up with at work (more than I can say about the troubles I put up with at school). I’m going to end up in a corner with a couple of close friends trying to have an intelligent conversation over the noise of way to loud music and some drunk spilling his drink on my nice leather coat. In ballgames, half of the teams lose and half of the teams win. When I went bar hopping, I usually kept quiet because of too loud music and way too obnoxious drunks. As far as weddings go, half of marriages end in divorce but half of funerals don’t end in resurrections. I mean, after a few go arounds, the spoilers are already out of the bag. Not so with spending time alone, reading books, watching educational videos, or having deep conversations with friends and family.
In short, I don’t think I need to learn to come out of my social shell. I think that more people could stand to learn how to shut up, examine themselves, and just stand still for a few moments. Silence ain’t gonna bite you. Neither will solitude.