I've always longed for solitude. It's something that's an ongoing craving and need. Some of my most vivid childhood memories seem to be in situations where I am alone. My earliest memory was when we lived in Salt Lake (I was a wee thing then) sitting by myself either on the porch or near some sort of fence licking an orange Popsicle. I liked having my secret hidey-hole places that I could steal away and escape to. Memories like climbing the crabapple tree in the backyard when we lived in Heber, sitting in the crook of the tree and watching the other kids play. That special weed and tree enclosed hiding place, secluded in between the back fence and the field beyond. I still remember how happy I was to find that perfect nook and claim it as my very own space where I could go to.
I remember how important it was for me to go over to the neighbor's house and shoot baskets hour after hour by myself after school. Then, a few years later on the night of my high school graduation, all the seniors gathered at a country club/ recreation facility to party and celebrate. I found myself in the darkness, sitting on the floor of an out of the way room, realizing I was so alone and forgotten, knowing that the point of it all was to be with friends. Not a happy memory, but I guess being alone was easier and safer for me than mingling with the other kids. My mind is filled with these types of memories; some sad, some pleasant, but all part of my reality.
I've taken those personality tests. (I'm an ISFJ.) It shows that I'm half introvert and half extrovert. I can be a very outgoing, social person if I want to be. I do relate well and interact with lots of people. I enjoy and relish family gatherings, parties and dinners out with friends, blogging and Facebook, and engaging in meaningful conversation with many, many people. But lately, maybe as I'm growing older and maybe with my having gone through a few challenges these last few years, I see myself becoming even more introverted and introspective. I find myself craving solitude so much more. Maybe that comes with being a mother to a large, teenage- majority household. Maybe I seclude myself in search of peace and quiet.
I love to go up to my room, close the door, and sit in my little reading nook. I love that stillness, especially when I have those few stolen moments in the early morning, or the two and a half hours when Isaac is at school. To be with alone with myself and my thoughts. Maybe this is why I'm suited for running. (Perhaps the running has actually made me more this way.) You have to be comfortable being with yourself to run mile after mile. Maybe that's why reading is such an important element to my happiness. Maybe that's why pondering, analyzing, and then writing about my world (inner and outer) here is so important to me.
It's good to know who you are. I'm okay with me.
Lately, I've been fantasizing about going away somewhere by myself. I think moms, especially, need to do that once in a while. It rejuvenates a person. Most years I've attended a Women's Conference sponsored by the nearby university and the Relief Society (women's organization) of my church. It's a two day event with inspirational classes, humanitarian projects (Assembly lines of newborn, school, and hygiene kits sent to people in need all around the world. Lots of other projects to work on, too.), displays, booths, and ideas for strengthening homes and communities, and uplifting and fun evening entertainment. Most years I just go for one day and come home in time to make dinner. This year I talked to Keith about this need for solitude and rejuvenation and we both felt like it would be nice for me to really get away for the whole two days. I'll be staying in a local hotel all by myself, treat myself to eating out (and not cooking dinners for a change!), reading and writing a bit, and maybe even taking in a movie solo style. (!!!)
I'm really excited. I need this time to "get out of the rain", to water and nourish my soul, just like Brian Kershisnik's powerful image (shown above) depicts.
I'll surface back here Saturday refreshed and renewed.
See you then.