A hermit‘s life is not an easy one. We actually like solitude. No one really understands, except maybe other hermits. And while it would be great to have a Hermit Club, the irony is, they’re never around to ask; they’re all hiding. In this crazy socialized world where most people can’t stand to be alone for five seconds, we’re anomalies. People look at us with pity when we say we didn’t do anything last weekend or that we went to a movie alone. They just don’t understand how much better we feel in our own company than in the company of others.
But after spending two nearly delirious weeks cooped up in my house alone sitting in patches of sunlight, sitting on the couch, sitting in front of the computer, doing yoga, reading, and generally avoiding the rest of humanity, I’ve realized something. It gets a little old. And no, not old as in boring and lonely (if you think that, you don’t know the first thing about hermits), but old as in “I seem to have stopped growing. Now what?”
So in 2012, I’ve decided to conduct an experiment. Can I venture out into the world and become a socialized hermit? Can I control my folly so as to appear to be a perfectly normal human? Is that even necessary? Will I be able to be myself without pretense? Will I find myself closing off my heart in protection or suddenly opening it wider than I thought possible. And most importantly, will I find new strength, meaning and purpose?
With this blog, I promise to be brutally honest…with myself at any rate…about my experiences. I also promise to report at least once a month on how things are going. I will report on the following topics:
- historical context–personal and historical stories of and reasons for being a hermit, famous hermits, etc.
- risks taken–party invitations accepted, communications initiated, family affairs, etc.
- new territories entered–dating, parties and events, new dimensions of being, etc.
- continuing discomforts–what’s so hard and why, feelings, fears, thoughts, physiological reactions, etc.
- abysmal failures–things I just couldn’t make myself do, recurring judgments, social missteps, etc.
- electric triumphs–anything worth celebrating
- realizations–important things I’ve learned along the way
My hope is that this blog will:
- help me cope and stay focused on the goal (it’s soooo easy to turn back into a hermit)
- inspire other hermits that they too can be in the world without melting or turning into one of them (or a dire warning to stay in your cave!)
- help non-hermits to understand us hermit types better and what we go through in a society that doesn’t really support or respect hermits
- experience for myself whether or not life gets better when other people are part of it (as everyone keeps telling me)
I will be the first to admit, people scare the #*$@ out of me. They are both terrifyingly unpredictable and disappointingly predictable all at the same time. They are insane. But in 2012, I’m making a commitment to myself to get out there with them and mingle. That’s right, I’m throwing myself to the lions. Wish me luck and pray for me. I’m going to need both!