When we were younger, a friend and I used to joke about her becoming a hermit when she grew old. I promised that I would bring her groceries and leave them by the door. It seemed like a great idea at the time; retreating from the world, not having to deal with people, doing what you want when you want. Unfortunately, the dream has been shattered this year for me.
The thing about living a hermit-esque lifestyle is that you get both lonely and bored. Days go by very quickly and you find yourself feeling sedentary. This week I have been starting my days with exercise instead of my usual roll out of bed, make the bed, sit on the bed and do some internet-ing from the bed. Not really ideal. Well, it certainly fills in an hour and gives me a happy, light feeling. The problem is that it gets me all motivated and ready for the day… a day which involves nothing but sitting alone with my homework and chores.
Hanging out with friends is harder now because they all have wonderfully busy lives, while I am quite the opposite thanks to leaving a job and online study. Filling in days with mini triumphs is my new way of marking the passage of time: an appointment here, drinks at the pub there, driving lesson for good measure. One awesome triumph this week was the passing of my Hazard Perception Test. Oh yes, this blogger right here can safely recognize road hazards and is one step closer to being able to drive.
Very soon I will be on the roads and as my friends tell me, it will change my life. Walking the streets of my town alone can be a bit of a gamble. Just yesterday I witnessed the man in front of me walk into somebodies front yard , turn on their outside tap and wash his face. Two blocks before him it was a gang of leering teenage boys. Before them it was an angry junkie. Was I attacked or mugged by any of these people? No, but I prefer not to have crazies jeering at me from cars or walking too close behind me on the street or making me feel threatened on my block. Ladies who have to walk around by themselves will know the feeling I’m talking about! However from a car I won’t have to worry about whether I have enough energy left to make a run for it if the shirtless guy talking to himself decides he’d like to chat with me. I can visit friends and go places. Amazing! I also can’t wait to visit some towns nearby.
Ah, social interaction! People need it. As much as stowing away as a hermit for a while seems like fun, the truth is that you need regular contact with different people. Even a telephone call can brighten your day. I’m looking for work so that I have some structure and people in my life. People are social, and even for someone like me who likes alone time and can be tied over for a fortnight on one single social activity, you can’t be alone forever.
Besides, all this hermit-ness is sucking my inspiration dry. Talk about lack of ideas flowing! This is purely because I don’t see enough, hear enough, experience enough new and different things each day. Unless I write about monotony like this post… You have to seek inspiration, not wait for it to hit you. If you spend all your time doing the same things then eventually your mind will be sucked of all it’s enthusiasm and hope – you’ll just be left with a hollow feeling of needing something, someone, anything to get outside. It’s just that at the same time it stunts you from being able to do those things.
At least we have the internet? It’s a shame that interacting on the internet doesn’t fill you up as much as interacting in person. Nothing can give you that feeling of purpose and satisfaction like talking to a good friend face to face. In a couple of months I should (if all goes to plan) be driving, and then working, and writing and exercising and studying and blogging and playing and hey, suddenly the empty days will be filled up and I’ll be wishing that I had a little more time to just myself. Better savor this time.