"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal,
and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together
unless and until all living humans read the book.
And then there are books…which you can’t tell people about,
books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection
feels like a betrayal."
From my own experiences, I have noticed different types of wanting to be alone. While my tendencies usually sway toward the introverted side of things rather than the extroverted, I've never completely defined myself as an introvert. Some may say that's due to my pathological fear of labeling myself, but I have always defined it more as independence than introversion. Nevertheless, I, and I'm quite sure all of you, just want to be alone sometimes.
I've always been fascinated with being alone, or solitude, as it is. Solitude can be helpful, peaceful, relaxing, and it can help you grow mentally, spiritually, and physically. On the other hand, I think we all know solitude can drive us up a wall. When we let our solitude get the best of us, our thoughts start turning unhealthy. Thoughout history we have seen that, with time, people in isolation start going mentally crazy.
"The whole value of solitude depends upon one's self; it may be a sanctuary or a prison, a haven of repose or a place of punishment, a heaven or a hell, [it is] as we ourselves make it." -- John Lubbock
• For me, there's the desire to be alone due to the less attractive alternative. This usually happens when a gathering/party/contrived social gathering is on the horizon. Sometimes this desire to be alone is largely selfish, and should be pushed through. An evening of extroversion is often healthy, needed, and actually tons of fun.
• There's the desire to be alone after you have had a long day or week filled with high levels of extroversion, also known as a desire for recovery time. When this happens, it is most beneficial to give into it. Well, for me. If I don't let myself take a night off and be alone, I will probably be unattractively cranky the next day.
• There's the desire for solitude after big life events or a succession of life changes. This is the reflection period. If I find myself go go going without time to stop, I loose control. Taking time to be alone to reflect on events, pray, center yourself, etc. is probably the most healthy type of solitude.
• And then, there's a desire for solitude that forces you to let it run it's course, like I experienced today. It's the reason I wanted to watch the last Harry Potter film alone, and the reason I didn't want to talk to anybody the rest of the night afterwards. It's the reason that, after you finish a good book, you can't quite deal with exiting the fantasy and entering reality right away.
It's like you need processing time. Your brain needs time to decipher between what you just read and how it's going to apply it do your reality. You need time to remember the fact that the characters aren't, actually, your best friends. You need space to sort out the emotional jaunt these fictional characters just put you through, in order not to seem like an out of sorts human the rest of the day.
Today I finished The Fault in Our Stars, and was definitely forced to let this last one run it's course. So many thoughts to think and things to feel. I enjoyed it, for sure. And, I didn't cry. I know most people bawled, but I promise you I felt it just the same. Just without the waterworks.
I want to go back and define all the words I didn't understand, and post-it note the crap out of it with quotes.
Yeah. I'll go do that. TFiOS - your thoughts?
"You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are."
- Augustus Waters by way of John Green's pen