One Is the Loneliest Number…

My mom’s favorite story of me is when I was very young. I would go into the kitchen, take all of the pots and pans out of the cupboard, climb inside and sit there. I would be there for hours, by myself, in the dark, just chilling out. Every once in a while, she would open the door and ask me if I was ok. I would nod, and she would close the door. As I have grown, I haven’t changed that much. No, I don’t climb into dark cabinets, but I do enjoy my “by myself” time. For me, it’s not really “alone” time, because I do best in that space when I have access to people. If no one is around, the loneliness can become very big and unbearable

I’m kinda weird (ok, very weird), in that I get my energy by being inside myself, but I do it best when I am with people. My sermon prep is usually done, not in a quiet lonely place, but in cafes, coffee shops, almost anywhere that people gather. I love people, and love being around them, even if we are notย actually dealing with each other. I think I was able to stay in the cupboard so long because I knew my mom was right there, and would give me the right amount of interaction. Connecting with people, even distant connections, ย allows me to be “alone” without being lonely… weird, but true…

This year, I think I have been more intentional about being with people. Reconnecting with old friends, and finding new ones. In the process, what is interesting for me, is that I have found that I want to meet more people… this is new for me, but it has proven to be wonderful. The new friends I have made have expanded my knowledge, my emotional capacity, my concept and understanding of the world. Interacting with people is like a fine meal – it satisfies you and makes you want more.

One of the most exciting parts of meeting new people is being invited to be a part of their life. It’s one thing to know who they are from the outside, quite another to hang out with them, have a meal with them, or participate in something that is very near and dear to them. It is creating a masterpiece together, putting each other’s uniqueness into the project, making it something more than you ever imagined. My friend Vic and I get together every now and then, and get a hangar steak dinner at The Tied House. As much as either of us enjoy the meal, we enjoy even more seeing the expression on each other’s face when we take the first bite, and the conversation the ensues from our enjoyment of the meal. Vic started talking to me about a venture he is looking into, and invited me to consider being a part. That blessed and jazzed me to no end, not so much because of the venture, but because it was something I could do with my friend.

I have also been talking to Estrella about guest posting on each other’s site. There is something very intimate about writers sharing their pad. I have had the privilege of guest posting on Fear of Writingย a couple times, thanks to my friend and writing coach (in that order) J. Each time I have met someone new, and received good feedback on my submissions (writers can be so cool ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I’m in the process of putting together my post for Estrella’s site, and can’t’ wait to see how it will blend with the wonderful items she already has. The invitation to participate in Estrella’s site has given me inspiration to go to my alone place and not be lonely.

Ok, I couldn’t resist… because I love the song, and some of y’all will remember the fashions:

Notable notables

Estrella Azul’s site, “Life’s A Stage” http://estrella05azul.wordpress.com/

J Clement Wall on “ZebraSounds” http://zebrasounds.net/

Milli Thornton’s “Fear of Writing blog” http://fearofwriting.com/blog

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13 thoughts on “One Is the Loneliest Number…

  1. I can very much relate to this….one of the reasons I like to work at home is that I can be alone. As an introvert, it’s actually energizing for me to be on my own, and while I very much enjoy getting together with friends, usually the companionship of my husband and children is perfect. Still, like you, I’ve found that the Twitter/blogging community of writers is a wonderful way to connect with people who understand the dynamic of the writer’s life — and to make wonderful new friends who I can “see” everyday! Looking forward to your guest blog!

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    1. You know, I fought Twitter for a long time, as the whole social media experiment was getting old for me. Twitter has been different, because it (and the blogosphere) have really fueled me in the areas of my craft. I wasn’t really getting that before.

      I understand your life as an introvert. I am off the chart one, as is my youngest son, even though we do things that are very public. Recharging and gaining energy, however, is found in those quiet places.

      I’m following in great footsteps, Julia (oh, master of guest bloggy-ness)
      ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Overall “Wow!”

    *blush* thank you for mentioning me, Kenneth, it’s so touching to see… exactly that – how we touch each other’s lives, how we’re able to inspire each other no matter the distance.
    I can’t wait to read your piece for, and have it as a part of my blog, even more so because it’s so special for us as friends and writers. *hugs*

    I really liked reading about how you would climb into cabinets when you were a child. I really admire how you can write like that!
    I sometimes wish I could also do just that when I’m writing. Somehow, I write better if it’s quiet and I probably wouldn’t be that okay with people buzzing around me. I’m fine with background noises, as long as they’re very much in the background. And when someone’s at home… 99% of the time I can’t get anything done – how exactly does one train another person to sit quietly and not disturb? There’s why I like our cats, even though they, too, can be difficult at times.
    But hen again… just everyone’s different little quirks I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. If you could find the formula to train someone to sit quiet and still, Estrella, you would be a very rich woman ๐Ÿ™‚

      And yes, I had to mention you, because until our little chats over the dandelions, I really had no clue what I was going to write about. Writing for you will be special… You’ll have a clue to my inner workings before it goes live, and you’ll be able to shape and mold it so it fits you. Collaboration is so fun and invigorating. I haven’t out virtual pen to paper on it yet, but its taking shape in my ether. Looking forward to it
      *hugs* to you as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I can so understand where you are coming from in this post.
    I use to love to find little cubbyholes when I was a child and be by my self. I was the youngest of five. Four years from my next older sister. So I was alone quite a bit anyway. I didn’t mind though, as I use to love to make up stories, and pretend while I was by myself.
    I prefer being in the country much more then being in a city. I do love to people watch, but not necessarily getting involved with what I am seeing… except for writing about it later… I now have the pleasure to write about my experiences, and the people I meet.Thanks to Millivers Travels! It pleases me to no end and I am grateful for all opportunities!

    I especially liked the picture you painted about having dinner with your friend Vic!
    Friends are a great thing to have and should never be taken for granted. A good friend will be there when you want company, and give you space when you need to be alone!

    I have enjoyed this post and think you have a nice flair for writing!

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    1. Hi Betsy,
      Thank you so much for your comments. Your growing up sounds a lot like mine, except that I love the city. I seem to be able to lose myself in the hustle & bustle of it all. Anyway, I’m excited to read your experiences on Milliver’s travels ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Oh, I’m in trouble now! Or, rather, I should say *you’re* in trouble! Because of the links you’ve provided, I now have a few more delightful blogs to explore, then add to my favorites — and they’re about writing, of all things! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you so much.

    I can identify with your comments about being in a sea of people (at cafes, et cetera) yet a bit removed, and working on your writing. I remember doing that years ago, before laptops ever existed, using a pad and pen and working things out in my mind while I crossed out, added to, and embellished whatever story I was working on at the time. Have you noticed, in establishments like that, most people sense you’re in the middle of something so they don’t interrupt yet remain friendly and interested if you want to engage. I like that. Rather like sitting in a wonderful book store, don’t you think?

    I also love that you have declare this to be the year of intentional connections. And congrats on expanding the areas in which your words are found. What a blessing to strike a chord and resonate with others. Be they near or far removed from us, it is so fulfilling to communicate and have them say, “You, too?” Proud of ya, and love you, too….

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    1. Hi Sis,

      I think what I like about those establishments is that people in there are living and experiencing life, and from a distance I can participate in their experience, while my own experience comes alive as I write. From time to time, I get to interact with them, but it’s not forced. I can be comfortable in those situations.

      and yes, the blogs, and moreso the people behind them, are wonderful. I’m coming into contact with even more great writers, and creative types. I haven’t had that community before, so it is challenging me to grow in my writing. I think it is fun ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I love this: “It is creating a masterpiece together.” Yes, it is, though I never thought of it quite that way before. HUGE smile! (I’m hardly a writing coach, darlin’, but I am your friend. Thank you for the mention!) xo

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  6. Ha! Yes, I remember that song! And the groovy fashions.

    What a beautiful post. I loved your story about sitting in the pots and pans cupboard for hours, just chilling out. And your mom was very cool about the way she handled it – no fussing about how weird it might seem to other people. She seemed to understand what you needed. That can be such a blessing when you’re trying to grow up to be your own person.

    I’m a lot like you – I need tons and tons of time to be inside of myself. I even get very angry or start to lose power when I’m robbed of this, so I think for our ‘type’ it’s like food for the soul.

    Like you, I also like to work ‘around’ other people (eg. in coffeehouses) but with my headphones on listening to ocean noises so I can still be ‘alone.’

    Reading your post just gave me another boost of self-acceptance for the way I am. I also enjoyed reading about the wonderful influences that j and Estrella have on you (I concur about both those magical ladies). And thank you for linking to the FoW blog. My favorite line from your post was: “It is creating a masterpiece together, putting each otherโ€™s uniqueness into the project, making it something more than you ever imagined.” Couldn’t have put it better myself! I feel this way about hanging out with friends, and also about collaborating with other writers.

    Cheers ~ Milli

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