Thursday, November 24, 2011

November Blog #24: "Alone vs. A Loner"

NaBloPoMo Prompt of the Day (Nov 24): Do you enjoy being alone? Would you rather be around other people?

I think that I probably answered this question when I blogged about my secret pleasure.  In retrospect, I guess it really wasn’t much of a secret.  It’s pretty obvious to me, and to some, but I suppose to others it wouldn’t be.  Maybe that is why I chose it.  Would I rather be alone or around people?  I always described myself as an introverted extrovert.  This may be a silly contradictory phrase, but it really does make perfect sense for me.  Vice versa would hold true, as well; I am also an extroverted introvert.

I grew up in a decent sized family.  There were six of us all together.  I had 3 siblings, two younger sisters and an older brother.  Not big by older standards by any means, but 4 children is quite a bit for today.  I was the second child, but the oldest daughter.  Sometimes it felt as though I was the oldest in general.  It goes without saying that the first born is born into a deal of responsibility in the hierarchy of a family, and being the first of three girls and so close to my brother in age, I was no different. 

Although being in a big family forced me to interact with people throughout most of my days, I also preferred to spend a lot of time in my room and/or alone as a child.  I didn’t dislike my family, per se; all families have issues.  As I mentioned in my blog about my secret pleasure, I am not sure if I am just innately like this or I became this way because of conditions during my development.  It’s just simply how I am. 

I actually prefer to be with people; I love social interaction, I love conversing.  I just need almost as much time alone.  That is to say, I am accustomed to getting as much time alone.  My husband’s work takes him away all week, so up until I had the baby, it was just me and the dog during the weeks here.  I lived the half life of a bachelorette.  I must say, having the baby has saved me from loneliness more than I ever could have imagined.  She’s like my new best friend.  I prefer to be with her, honestly.  As a Stay-at-Home, I have also become accustomed to having her with me 24/7. 

As she keeps growing and we bond more and more every day, I find myself changing more and more.
  My “self” is changing to include her as well.  I’m “alone” with Celie a lot of the time, but I am not really alone.  Sure, she isn’t an adult capable of intellectual debate and stimulating conversation, but she fulfills my social needs in a way I could never have comprehended before.  Don’t get me wrong, I still need time away from her, I still need time completely alone, and I still need time to be social without her, but I am growing more and more each day.  I believe I am being re-socialized by my daughter; she is making me co-dependent.  This is something I have kind of had a battle against since my husband and I got together.  I had to detach myself in a way from the loneliness I felt every time he left me or I would never be able to live the life that we do.  Even though I still feel this loneliness every day he is gone, my daughter is helping me to not feel so alone and feel more okay with him leaving me so much. 

Overall, I am a homebody.  I enjoy spending quality personal time with my family and that is what I choose to do most times.  I also would never be what I am today without the social stimulation of my friends.  I have learned things in solitude that one can never learn in social circles.  I have, in turn, learned many things in a social circle that one can never learn in solitude.  Although I have come far and overcome many personal obstacles, I continue to walk the thin line between social butterfly and social outcast. 

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