So goes the lyrics to a Sheryl Crow song, and to a loner like me it’s a battle cry. That is, it would be if I felt I needed a battle cry. Here’s the thing. I post online to my blog or Facebook, I host the occasional poker game and I work with a team at my day job. But I am very much a loner. Do not translate this to mean I am lonely. I’m really not. I’m very happy in my solitude, and amazingly I’ve found a woman who shares my hermit-esque worldview even more strongly than I do! But as a blogger I am putting a shout out to all the non-loners out there to try and help you understand.
I have no problem going for dinner and a movie alone. Weeks on end of spending my free time at home with no guests? Heaven. It’s not a sad thing, I’m not bitter or lonesome, I just enjoy my own company. I’m not mentally ill, I don’t need someone to reach out to me, I’m not plotting terrible things or falling into depression. I have friends and family that I see once a month, once a year, and once a decade. I value each one of them and don’t feel the need to be in constant communication. The ones I see the least I often love the most, because they respect my choice of lifestyle. They know I’m just fine.
I’ve created some of my coolest stuff when I was alone, works which have been enjoyed by thousands of very nice people. I’m filled with pride and enjoyment when I create things on my own. Among others though I’m stifled, I can’t concentrate, I can’t follow my thoughts. If I’m going for a fun day with friends I’ll have a genuinely good time, but I can only do this in short, infrequent doses. It’s not you, it’s me, but it’s not a problem so please don’t take it personally. It’s just my way and I’m not apologizing for it anymore. Most of the time I’d much rather be alone with my wife or completely solo, writing, flying, playing cards, taking photos. One of the best vacations of my entire life was me, my car, and a thousand miles across the United States northwest. I only met up with with three people, my future wife whom I proposed to on that same trip, and some friends in Portland who also can relate to my love of self-time. The trip was pure joy for me, every mile driven, every meal eaten, every stop for gas.
I don’t like team sports. I like casino poker. Me versus the table. I can talk and be pleasant, or I can remain silent and nobody cares. Nobody judges me as antisocial in that space. Movie theaters I like. Don’t have to talk to anyone. Being social is actually frowned upon when the projector is running! No phones, no talking. That’s the unspoken rule people, so turn off your damned iPod-Galaxy-whatever and stop chatting to your friend.
I like flying. Yes, I have a flight instructor but it’s all business and it brings me to a rewarding personal end. When I go pro I’ll probably be a one-on-one instructor or flying mail for Fedex, or flying small tours with people who I will never see again after I share my love of.. wherever. One co-pilot I can handle if needed. It makes sense and has no obligations once we land, just like my coworkers today. They’re nice people for the most part and I like them. If I can fly alone and make a living at it I intend to. Preferably not north of sixty though, I like warm weather too. The chatter on the flight radio gives me a sense of belonging without an obligation to know any of the voices.
I don’t like holidays where family participation is expected. Sorry to my caring family-members, I love you all, but the pressure and expectation of being social due to a calendar date based on a religion I don’t prescribe to is very irritating. I’ll call you later and we’ll get lunch sometime. Please no cards. I know you love and miss me, I don’t need a Hallmark reminder. Post it on Facebook if you must. Do it for me, do it for the planet.
I want to make this very clear. I am not depressed or lonely. I’m very happy! I do not need help, I do not need a phone call, I don’t need to find Jesus, I really don’t need anything except space and quiet. I’m not antisocial in the negative connotation of the word. If something comes up or I miss you a lot, I’ll let you know. I think of you all with warm thoughts.
With all my sincere love,
Albert Einstein, Barry Bonds, Anne Rice, Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Crazy Horse, Alec Guinness, Philo T. Farnsworth, Rene Descartes, Lawrence of Arabia, Beatrix Potter, Anneli Rufus, Brian Epstein, John Hughes, nearly every superhero ever drawn, Axl Rose, Daniel Clowes, Bruce Lee, Joe DiMaggio, nearly every western hero ever filmed, Kurt Cobain, Emily Dickinson, and Jon Ashby.