Socially relevant Hermit

When I was younger, I believed I was destined to live my life as a hermit: this was in part due to my numerous failed friendships. While I am currently able to be the life of the party in certain social situations, I am still struggling with maintaining long-lasting friendships. I do not seem to possess what it takes to sustain a friendship. I meet people, get excited and have the best of intentions but something always seems to go wrong. Therefore as I look upon my present life, I wonder if my childhood prophecy was true. Am I destined to lack the ability to maintain long-lasting human interaction for the rest of my life? While I would like to save face by agreeing with that statement, the part of me that wishes I had 40 comments 5 minutes after I upload pictures onto facebook or wishes that I had several messages a day on my wall contradicts that statement. As I spend week 5 of working in what I have now come to acknowledge as the beautiful state of Minnesota, I realised today that I have neither received nor placed a single phone call from/to anyone. While I still cherish my alone time, as I contemplate the years going by, I am starting to wonder if maybe I need to put more effort into building and maintaining friendships. For, I don’t want to get older and realise that like an older lady in the dating pool, pickings for friends get very slim in ones old age.

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One thought on “Socially relevant Hermit

  1. Hi, are you still in Montana? – I came across this page Googling “relevant hermit”…I struggle with the same conundrum: how to square the impulse to isolate with the need for connection. The “impulse” is consistent and strong, like a personal mandate; while the “need” is vague, unformed, nagging, like a sad undertow. I’m gifted at a life of solitude; pathetic at long-term connection. As a freelance writer/editor living alone in NYC, everything has been orchestrated (?) to support my solitude…I can “ghost-walk” my life in the city with myriad adventures, diversions, pleasing sights, and chance encounters. But shouldn’t a life add up to something? And does that something require a witness, or a life of witnesses? I think I write (as I’m doing now) to find a witness. Have you investigated the condition known as AvPD (avoidance personality disorder)? Interestingly, I founded a Meetup group for people with AvPD — a group for people who avoid other people. The irony was not lost on most. But none of them were comfortably resigned yet to the solitary path their lives were taking. How about you? How do you navigate the urge to be alone and need to connect? I’m looking for models for being a “relevant hermit” (maybe Asian philosophy/mythology?)

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