Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Give me a knight with a white horse, shining armor, and the ability to arrive before he's called.

I really look forward to my days off. Today was one. This past week I worked three full days in a row at the store (whoa, I know...), so I was feeling burned out on groceries and eager to get back to my cozy room where I can edit websites in my pajamas. Strangely enough, though, while leading people to the honey all the time and making endless amounts of coffee burns me out quickly, it seems that working all by myself in a chair burns me out quicker.

Usually, after just a single day of e-freelancing, I begin to feel this creeping sense of sadness. It's a little bit lack of motivation (which I admit is pretty easy to feel when you are surrounded by all the paraphernalia of your life that have nothing to do with work), and a little bit restlessness (but you'd think that wouldn't be such an issue when I take exercise breaks every time I get too cold or antsy), but mostly, I think it's just loneliness.

I have that much-touted ability to see eternity in every moment. Unfortunately, for me, this means that when I'm happy, I think it's going to last forever and am devastated when it doesn't...and when I'm lonely, I can't help but think that's going to last forever, too, hence the creeping sadness, despite all the logical self-admonition I can muster.

I often wonder why, when I've been around people for a while, I start to crave solitude so much, knowing that only a few hours of it will turn me into a tragic figure that sits silently in shadows, leans wistfully out the window, and dreams incessantly of her white knight. However, putting it in those terms, I realize exactly why I feel lonely.

It's not that I don't need lots of alone time. I do. I'm a certified introvert. But even the most die-hard hermit needs other people occasionally. And I see that moment coming from miles away. Long before I've reached the point where I feel desperate for companionship, I'm worrying about the time in the future when I will reach that point. I worry because I know I am powerless to prevent it. The difference between a person who is lonely and one who is not, is that the un-lonely person knows how to not be alone when they no longer want to be.

That esoteric knowledge is inaccessible to me. I truly am at the mercy of whatever white knight may appear to rescue me from my solitude. For I know not how to summon one. Or, if I were not so inclined to speak in terms of fairy tales, I might say that social phobia keeps me in my lonely tower – no, no! Must dispense with the fairy tale imagery! – that the effort of reaching out to people stresses me out so much that it pretty much negates any benefit that I might gain from having company, in the event that my attempt is a success. I might also say that I don't know how to connect with people, and when I try, I end up looking like a total fake.

So I just don't try. I think it would be easier to stab myself repeatedly with a pushpin than start a conversation that might embarrass me.

Believe it or not, this hasn't been a sloppy wallow in self pity. It's just an insight. I don't think it has the power to turn me into Miss Congeniality, but knowledge is power. Maybe there's enough power in it to drive me to call up an acquaintance and see if they'd like to get ice cream with me! Then again...oh, look! Pushpins!


Geoff said...

Follow your bliss.