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Why I like being a Recluse

Many studies state that human beings need contact with other human beings. We need both intellectual, social, and sexual interactions with other human beings in order to blossom and grow.

As a reclusive, I can say: I’m only human. Occasionally I do need contact with human beings, only to prove that I love my reclusive lifestyle.

It is also said that people who live as recluses are those who are wounded, emotionally immature, or suffer from some kind of social disorder. Maybe for some people living a solo life is not merely by choice but by a (mal)function in the brain. But it is always a choice to give in to it. Especially when it has to do with past experiences.

When on an occasional lonely night I search the internet for fellow hermits and how they balance their human needs for contact, I learn that many modern hermits were once very sociable people, but dropped out of society for a brief moment. To recuperate from a phase, to heal, and to get away from ‘it all” for a while. Only to discover how peaceful a reclusive life is and to never return fully to that social amiable life they used to live.

There are several stages of how reclusive you want to live. Some end up in a log cabin in the woods without electricity, internet or phone.
This article gives you 2 examples of the extreme of modern-day hermits.

Ever since civilization exists, people want to get away from it.

Escaping the 9-5 society, escaping family gatherings, escaping it all. Some of us do not function well in a world full of rules, noise, and obligations. Becoming a recluse is not something that comes upon you, it is a choice and it grows on you.

I always had the feeling I was a misfit when it came to society. I did never fit in. And although I was the fun girl at parties once, I now hate it when I have to go to one.
For a while, I made up every excuse I could think of to get out of the invitation without losing face or hurting the other person’s feelings.
In the end, I just ended up saying I was not into parties anymore.

I guess for me the venom lies in the “ not wanting to hurt anybody’s feelings”, That is where it usually goes wrong between me and society (read people): I avoided confrontations to the max, and by doing so I got hurt a lot.
I’m HSP (Highly Sensitive Personality) and I need a certain amount of ‘me-time’ to recuperate from daily life.

Arguments, why not to go, nomadic life, bevome nomadic after retirement, life after 50, change my life, escape my life, start over again, how to

As years were added to my age, I started to appreciate the time alone over the time spent with people

My way of thinking is totally different from others. And I always felt that but never knew why. I have a different way of observing the world and capturing thoughts. Maybe because I started traveling at the age of 17 when I rounded the entire South American continent?

Anyway, it took a while to discover what ‘is wrong with me’. But now I know: my thoughts go with the speed of light. And here is how I discovered that:

I once attended a seminar where we had to do a test. The room was filled with academics and they took their time filling out the test form. I kind of worried that I finished mine so fast. It was not that difficult? Was it?
Did I miss the point maybe?

The spokesman saw me and came up to me and said: Don’t worry, finished is finished. Can I have a look?
And when he looked over my form he smiled and said: Just be honest during the evaluation. You will surprise yourself.

It was one of those agonizing hand-raising evaluation things…how many of you answered….and then raise your hand.

My hand went up a lot while others did not raise theirs. I felt awkward. Red face, all sweaty in the armpits I can tell you that.
I was the sole person with an exceptionally high score, and I finished the test in only a few minutes.

Tarsier Bohol

My score was 98 out of 100! And I barely finished high school.

Later, during lunch, the trainer stood next to me, we were at a race track overlooking the cars speeding away from the pit stop and he said: that is you….you go from 0-200 miles per hour in a split second. Your brain is different from the multitudes. Do not compare yourself to them or be belittled by them. They will never understand. And because they do not understand they will judge you and scorn you.

That was the wisest, and probably the nicest thing a person ever said to me. He almost made me cry that day. And he probably doesn’t know how much his words meant to me. He repaired my battered soul more than time or solitude could. He explained ME to me.

I became a lover of solitude. Not because I’m different and I wish to set myself apart. But because in solitude I can hear myself think, I can be creative, I can produce.
I am not a team player.
And I have come to accept that.

There are more reasons why I love being a recluse

    • waking up in my own routine, having a coffee before anything else, writing my morning pages without interruption
    • spending money the way I see fit, without consulting my other half
    • deciding what to do with my day all by myself, no obligations
    • training my self-discipline to be productive all by myself
    • it makes me more resourceful, before asking anybody for help, I try to solve my own problems and I can do so much more than I think I can
    • it gives me strength for those days I do have to face the world, it rebuilds my energy level
    • I follow my own course and I can be authentic without constraints
    • I decide when I let the world in when I want to socialize

As you can see, I do use the internet, so I’m not as reclusive as many hermits that retrieve in a log cabin in the woods. I live in busy places mostly, filled with tourists and noise. But I can get away from it all whenever I want.

And yes, sometimes I do get lonely, as a matter of fact, loneliness was the underlying reason for writing this article. I made a list (I love lists) with the benefits of being single again (I just broke up with my 1-year boyfriend accepting that it did not work (again)) and living my life a little outside society. And that is how this article came about.

JC from Holland, emigreren, Filipijnen, Lady Rider, Philippines

There are 2 types of solo travelers:

Those that thrive in hostels rather than hotels, for hostels help them to connect to others and fill the emptiness of solo travel.
And there are those that truly travel alone, with their own thoughts and on their own trips, carrying their own luggage.

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6 reacties

  • JC from Holland

    He Jo, that is such a nice comment, thanks. And you and I share the same experiences, it seems to come with age, and it seems that that liberation opens more of ourselves. Thank you so much for sharing that. It was a good reminder for me today, love your timing!! 😉

  • Jo

    Loved this article, thank you. I’m an intovert and I seem to become more reclusive as I age. I’m becoming much happier, too. After retirement I found a creativity that had been well hidden for most of my life.

  • Robert Dawson

    We’re born alone, we die alone, and somewhere in between there, we live alone, Shalom!

  • Jeanette

    Hi Christina, thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I loved reading it, it sounds like my story. My reclusive lifestyle started expanding at around the same age. But I am on social media, that is part of my business model. yet I am very picky about whom I contact. Or stay in touch with.

    At the moment I am dating someone and actually it disturbs my reclusiveness in a way I’m still not sure whether I like it. I keep telling myself that the older we get, the harder it is to adjust to another person in our lives. Especially for those that love to be a recluse.

    I am happy to read form a likeminded person, thank you for sharing.

  • Christina Pulley

    Thank you for this article. I am a 50 year old woman and I’m finding myself become more reclusive as the years go on and loving it. I just feel so free. I’m relaxed, stress free and comfortable. The noise of the world just gets to be to much some times. I’m no longer on any social media and I connect with maybe 2-3 people a day via text. That is more than enough for me. I am a full time police dispatcher so I’m always having to talk on the radio and phone so by the time I’m done with work, I’m ready for my quiet time. I have a lot of hobbies and interests and I never feel that I’m bored or lacking anything out of life. I love to travel alone because I feel that I can enjoy and observe more than if I’m with someone. I find that if I’m with someone then I’m more worried about their happiness and enjoyment than my own so I never get to relax and enjoy. When I first started to become reclusive.. Maybe 8 years ago? People kept giving me a hard time about it. Saying I must have friends and I must go do things and I shouldn’t live in fear and I need to have a full life. But I do have some friends. Quality over quantity.. I do go do things. Actually I travel more than most people I know! and I don’t live in fear at all and I feel that I have a very full life. So now I’m finally getting strong enough to just stand up for myself and living my life on my terms. So happy to see that there are like minded people out there.