I call myself a “recovering recluse” because for most of my teens and twenties, I did nothing but work and go to school. Academics were the most important thing because college would help me get THAT JOB…you know, the one you work your whole college life for, then a recession hits, you return to school, and even your shiny new Master’s Degree doesn’t help? All my plans and their backups fell through, which led to some desperate choices for bigger paychecks that I’m still kicking myself for instead of sticking it out and doing something better. Patience–as they say–really is a virtue.
I’ve been an educator (in different ways) for several years, but as much as I love history and reading, I’ve had a lifelong flirtation with writing stories. Life being what it’s been, I decided I would be a writer. Like an idiot who perpetrates the “misunderstanding” scene in every romantic comedy, I threw up my hands, said “What the hell,” the music started, and I ran back to my one true love at last. I don’t recall an “embrace in the rain” scene, but considering how much I protect my journals and books, that would be a blasphemous move.
Its been a rusty start. I have to flex different muscles than when I wrote thesis papers, and I’m out of shape, but I’ve declared myself a full-time writer with part-time jobs and volunteer work. Volunteering is the closest I get to making friends, and sometimes they’re even my age!
I covered “recovering” somewhat, now for the “recluse” part.
The biggest lesson I learned from college was that while enjoying classes was great, I should have spent more time socializing and networking. Take this from me if nothing else: it is largely about whom you know. I didn’t realize how much until I’d graduated…twice! School makes it so easy: jamming all those people with flexible schedules in one building, the dozens of clubs you can join with people who like similar things. It’s like they do it on purpose to keep you and your money coming back because it’s so fun (“Come play with us… forever… and ever…”). Ugh.
It gets hard to make friends and contacts outside of school when you have never done it before. I had to remind myself, when I first tried to pull out of my reclusive state, that humans are social animals, and we need to share. I just find it funny that when I was actually ready to be more sociable, it seemed everybody was on the smart phone and calling that social.
Rats, foiled again! But I will persevere and make new friends, and find new interests that require actual human communication with people around my age (and not just my favorite retirees at the diner). It’s a start, at least. That’s my silver lining talking for me. I always have to find at least one. And I do have the most awesome best-friend-pseudo-sister who is that one person I’m not without, though we’re a thousand miles apart, so I’m not totally out in the woods alone.
I hope my future musings bring some thought or entertainment (maybe both?) to your day. I’m always thinking, and some thoughts are bizarre, some serious, and some just color me baffled. But I always want to learn; it’s why I’m here, and invite comment on what I don’t understand.
Hugs to you, kind stranger. Have a great [day/week/month…].
–Tally, The Chatty Introvert