Solitude is a state I know well. Especially since December of 2012 when I retired. I believe that I would spend 90% of my time in my apartment if it wasn’t for how much I love my daughter and my grandson. I spend 3 days a week at her home caring for Logan, my grandson. It is what keeps me from focusing too much on myself and how “lonely” I am. It makes sense that if you are lonely, you go out and find someone, but for me it’s just too hard sometimes to go out. I keep thinking that if only I knew why it was so hard, that I could fix it.
Most days I just want to get up, fix a cup of tea, and be alone. The trouble with that, at least for me, is that solitude brings with it depression. So I find reasons to get out and do things. Even though I don’t want to leave the apartment, even if my heart rate goes up just thinking about it.
I’m visiting a glass fusing studio every week, learning how to fuse glass. Once I’m there I’m fine. The people who run the place, and the other students, are very nice. Once in awhile I get someone who really wants to chat, so then I come home early. I’m also involved as a volunteer with an art group here in Portland. Again, I’m working with just a few people, and they are all really nice, so that works. And the work I do for them is typically something I can do here at home.
Honestly, I consider my need for solitude as a form of a prison. My closest friend actually gets energy from spending time with other people. I wish that I was like that, but I’m not, so I accept that. So my life is spent thankful that the people I love find ways to get me out of the house, and a little resentful that I have to leave my safe haven. And a little scared of admitting all of this out loud.