Alone time

Speaking as practically the Platonic Ideal of the Introvert, I appreciated this tidbit: 25 famous women on being alone.

I most identify with this quote from Susan Cain:

“People sometimes seem surprised when I say this, because I’m a pretty friendly person. This is one of the greatest misconceptions about introversion. We are not anti-social; we’re differently social. I can’t live without my family and close friends, but I also crave solitude.”

On the other hand, as far as I’m concerned, this bit from Chelsea Handler is perhaps a bit over the top:

“It’s not just O.K. to be single for both men and women — it’s wonderful to be single, and society needs to embrace singlehood in all its splendiferous, solitary glory.”

Listen, there is no need to exalt solitude or singlehood. Speaking as a woman who’s always been single, it’s not glorious. It’s just another perfectly fine, perfectly acceptable way of living your life. It has some benefits and some costs, like every other way of living your life. I never fretted over not being married or not having children, but I would never suggest to anyone that it’s better to be single. Or non-single. Both are fine. Can we just appreciate the fact that modern society offers us so many options these days and not try to prove that whatever we’ve chosen is somehow superior?

Anyway, lots of thought-provoking full quotes at the link.

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5 thoughts on “Alone time”

  1. Did you ever look up Susan Cain’s book? I remember it came up here a while ago. It verbalized a lot I recognized in my family. We’re all introverts.

  2. In grad school I studied medieval monks. They may seem like an odd lot, but they were amazing people who were, in their time, appreciated because society recognized the unique value of being unattached.

    For example, we retain much ancient poetry simply because unmarried men and women quietly spent each day making manuscript copies. The philosophies of Hildegard or the histories of Bede exist only because medieval culture (quite literally) created a place for single people to be creative.

    Today, technology allows spouses and parents to contribute creatively more so than in the old days, but we still ought to appreciate the ways single people add value to our world from their unique space.

  3. I enjoyed reading Quiet as well. The part about sensitivity to stimuli was mind opening for me at the time.

    Alone time is super rejuvenating to me, and important to my state of mind. I don’t know what I’ll do when I have kids T_T

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