I’m Thinking About Becoming a Recluse

Ok, hear me out.

I’m seriously considering becoming a recluse of some sort. Perhaps a hermit. I’m not really certain of the proper definition. But, I’m considering taking myself out of rotation, at least on the friendship front.

For some reason lately I’ve been – more than normal – struggling with some of the friendships that exist in my life and how they reconcile to who I am/where I’m going/what I want. At least at this moment in time.

I feel like I have lots of shortcomings and lots of reasons why a person would NOT want to choose me as their friend.

At the same time, I feel the opposite is true. I’m loyal and honest – to a failing fault – and enthusiastic about the little things.

But for whatever reason, as a 30-something mother-of-one, I’m finding my friendships very hard to negotiate and understand. I’m finding that I may need to edit my real friends list (not my facebook friends list) in order to maintain a healthy, long-term friends list. (For those of you who are my real-life friends and not just blog-o-sphere readers, I don’t mean YOU).

Is it worth it to just STOP – to devote myself wholly to motherhood, partnership, civic and volunteer activities and fulfilling myself that way? I feel defeated many nights lately at my approach to friendship, at the way friends approach me, at the words and the actions used to maintain the friendships that exist in my life.

Of course, this post was brought on by a late night, over-cocktails conversation with a friend. Err, at least a once-friend. Not sure where it stands exactly now.

It was the most intelligent argument/confrontation that I’ve ever been a part of. But it was disheartening and I sit here this evening feeling confused.

As I grow older, as new challenges enter into my world, I feel that these inherent parts of me change, and I struggle with how everything and everyone else fits into those changes.

What makes me good?

What makes me vibrant as a person, as a friend?

Why would YOU want to be my friend – stay my friend? Because I’m really feeling like perhaps I don’t have a ton that I bring to the table to recommend myself as the friend I fancy myself to be.

I don’t know, I’m just not sure. To re-iterate, I’m just totally feeling as though I am not the friend that I want to be to others, but I don’t know how to transform myself into that [rtdpmwithout leaving behind the woman, the individual, that I work hard to be, too. Which is why I’m seriously considering abandoning all friendships – at least in the way I know them now – to pursue other avenues of fulfillment.

Will it work?

Will I be miserable when it comes to my personal life – or less so.

I’m not a good secret-keeper sometimes – which doesn’t recommend itself well in friendship.

I’m quick with a sharp tongue and sharp wit.

I’m brutally honest, even when I’m trying to temper my opinions.

I’m bitchy and opinionated.

I feel like I know myself – I guess I expect that others do too, that the people I call friends do at least.

And then, on nights like tonight, I begin questioning why someone – ANYONE – would choose me as their friend. True blue, stuck like glue, friend.

Because I’m all of those things above that I listed.

I guess if I were writing a resume for friendship, though, here’s how I’d sell myself:

 

  • Determined to bring joy, happiness and fulfillment to those individuals who qualify as friends.
  • Seeks innovative and resourceful approaches to creating feelings of value and relation in variety of audiences.
  • Views friendship as an extension of self and thereby a statement on one’s own accomplishments.
  • Will get down in the shit with you.
  • Will be as drunk as you when the going gets tough and when the goings are good.
  • Creates memories and experiences for friends, friends of friends, family of friends, family and more.
  • Continually sources new individuals to forge both historical and contemporary friendships.

 

I don’t know folks.

I just don’t know.

I didn’t know that as I got older – grew up, ugh – that I would struggle in such a large way with friendships and how I exist within their construct. I feel as though I am failing at being a friend and I just don’t know…I think maybe I just need to take a step back and into myself and be more self-absorbed than I have been in my life, and maybe that will create an environment in which I understand better what friendship means. Or – am I SO self-absorbed even at this moment that I can’t get beyond myself to understand how I relate to my friends in the moment?

I value friendship above most other things in this world – and it may be even the most valuable thing in love, too.

But, am I any good at friendship? And if I am, how? Because I’m just not sure that I am…and if I’m not (shit!) what does that mean, and how do I get back to being better?

Perhaps, taking a hiatus and becoming a recluse?

Ideas – Welcome.

 

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3 thoughts on “I’m Thinking About Becoming a Recluse

  1. My dear best friend,

    PLEASE DO NOT give up on your friendships! I still need u. On that note, I haven’t got to delve into some of the things that are bothering u lately because life has been hectic! But I can guess a few reasons why you are feeling this way. I want you to know that myself and Frank and my family value your friendship dearly. I value your bitcheyness, directness, your ability to say what needs to be said and move on, I value your opinions and sometimes wouldn’t know what to do without them. Sometimes u do suck at keeping secrets but hey Lindsay you have so many other great things about you that I will accept that and I want u to know it does not make you a bad friend. You are always there for me and from what I see all your friends, u go above and beyond always, u give great advice and always know exactly what to do in the worst situations. You are everywhere all the time, I am always amazed by how much you juggle and you always maintain your composer and never seem stressed out. I couldn’t do it. I really hope u reconsider you thoughts on disengaging in friendship, however it is understandable that at this point in your busy adult life, you put some friendships on the back burner to concentrate on say yourself or your family or any other things that bring u fulfillment. I think the struggle here is you are so amazing that you can juggle so many things in life and most adults can’t do that. Maybe u feel like you don’t always get the same in return, not sure? I just want you to know I love u and your friendship is very important to me. So PLEASE don’t become a hermit! Talk to you soon!

  2. I haven’t left my room in over a week – except when I know everyone is sleeping so I can go and get more food from the fridge. Sometimes I grab books I’ve yet to read.

    It started as an attempt to escape insensitivity. I feel like an alien on this planet.
    I used to think it was me not understanding this life – this game everyone seems to be playing. Everyone’s always lying or telling half-truths or trying to manipulate someone else in some way. Either to get something they want without having to give anything in return, or in an attempt to convince everyone they’re something they’re not.

    So I can relate when it comes to struggling with relationship management.

    It’s probably the honesty.

    I once heard “if you want to know if someone is telling the truth or not, lie to them first”. I think that when you’re always honest it gives everyone else an opportunity to lie to you first.

    As for Facebook, I’d recommend just deleting your account altogether. There’s nothing real there anyway. Haven’t you noticed that people don’t post pictures of themselves when they are crying or tired or frustrated. Most people are frustrated most of the time. They might not admit it, but you can see it. And there’s no way 500 million people are all that happy and partying all of the time.

    It’s a sad state of affairs we live in these days.

    I’d be accused of being negative or cynical by most people (especially by anyone who has seen or read “The Secret”), but I can’t help but think of my self as a realist:

    Everybody is pretending, so it’s difficult to keep up. It becomes a struggle. It’s tiring

    You posted this 5 months ago, so I don’t know – maybe you became a recluse, maybe you didn’t – but whatever you’re doing, don’t judge it.

    Don’t get sucked into feeling like you need to live a certain type of life – have a certain amount of friends – etcetera. Remember that everything you see in the movies, on t.v. and read in magazines is all scripted.

    You might read that and think “d’uh”, but I think it’s important for people to hear/read and remember.

    Posters, commercials, billboards – even sitcoms, soap operas and game shows – it’s all scientifically designed just to get you to feel a way or think a thing all in an effort to get you to buy something.

    It all creates a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. Without even thinking about it, our brains are forming neurological pathways – mental frameworks – in a response to it all.

    I’m off on a tangent here.

    The most important thing is to look inside of yourself; do what makes you comfortable.
    There’s no point in “going out into the world” just to “keep up appearances” or whatever reasons people might have to constantly feel the need to appear busy.

    It’s like an addiction.

    When I started this, this first couple of days were confusing. One voice inside of me said things like “I’m lonely”, “I’m bored”, “I don’t want this” while another told me “it’s not a nice place out there; there’s nothing out there for you.”

    For a couple of days after that I thought “people are going to forget about you”, but then I remember the title of a book Neil Strauss wrote called “Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead”.

    But now I’m starting to feel differently on a spiritual level. Things I used to think I needed I no longer have any cravings for. The physical world truly is an addictive place.

    In closing I’d just like to say that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a recluse. Hell, Johnny Depp is a recluse, and most people still think he’s a pretty cool guy. But if you’re going to go down that road, just be prepared.

    Be prepared to find out who truly loves you. Most of us believe we have a lot more “friends” than we truly have. You really have to be prepared for that because it can depress you otherwise.

    And be prepared to find out who you really are. An interesting thing happens when you turn off the outside world: you start hearing your thoughts. Most people take their thoughts lightly, but these are messages that only you can hear. And you think about the things you think about and the way you think about them for a reason.

    Take care.

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