Sunday, September 17, 2006

Go Dark

That's a phrase I heard on "24" once. Perhaps more memorable because it was uttered by Jack Bauer, but nonetheless, it has stayed with me.

To "go dark" means to cut off all contact...become untraceable. As though you do not exist anymore.

Lately, this is what I feel like doing. Of course, it's not exactly possible, but I do not feel like putting much into life outside of the work-a-day week, and what I need to do for school. I do not feel depressed or...however it is I usually feel when I start to isolate...I just have not felt the need over the last few days to live outside of the comfortable box of my own world. I am very happy and comfortable right where I am.

It's strange. Perhaps a bit alarming. I have spent a bit of time lately looking over my relationships the last few years. Not strictly romantic relationships, but relationships in general. I realized that it did not matter what I was experiencing...whether it was all out rejection or unconditional acceptance...I was remarkably uncomfortable, feeling very out of place, not really knowing where I fit in. I have concluded, for better or worse, that this is the norm for me. For others, it's a signal of something wrong, something out of whack with their emotions or mental processes. For me, it's normal. It's the way things have always been. And lately, I just do not have the energy or the desire to go against the current on this.

I do have friends who would advise against my becoming comfortable in my solitude. I have one friend in particular who has advised me to consider therapy so I can get over these uncomfortable feelings and learn to mesh with other people, particularly those of my own sex. I suppose there may be some merit in that suggestion, but I do not care enough at this point to consider it. I am making friends with solitude. I am very comfortable in my cocoon. It is safe, it is not threatening, and my only critic is myself. There is no pressure here, and I am liking that.

In looking back on my relationships, and seeing that the same pattern repeats itself over and over again no matter what I may do to change, I've just concluded that--at least for now--I'm not going to attemt to reinvent the wheel. I think some people were meant for a more solitary life, and I am beginning to think that I am one of those people. As much as I may yearn for things like marriage, an active social life, etc...I am not sure those things were meant for me.

And how are things going in my coccon?

Well, I am loving my apartment. It is gradually feeling more and more like home. In fact, I stayed at my parents' house last night, and I could not wait to get back to my own place. I haven't been out of my parents' house for very long, but I was very much ready to leave. I think it's amazing, how quickly I made the transition from living with them to living comfortably on my own.

Work is going well. I think we will be settling into some kind of normal very soon, and I will have more time to focus on school and, if I feel like it, friends. Also, I got a raise, which is very nice. A great stress reliever.

All in all, things are going well. Life is good. God is good.

You seem content...Which can be a good thing, and I am happy for you to have this time for yourself!

I would encourage you though that being "social" is not just for you, it's also about what you bring to a group or just a friendship, and you have many gifts and talents to bring. I think this is one of the traps of isolating. I know you get "out" at work, when you go to the store, etc, but how often do you get to connect on a deeper level in those places, and more importantly, I think it's difficult for God to work through you to reach others when you are all alone. Well, that's my 2 cents for what it's worth :)
I hope you don't mind me responding to this Steph, but I would not worry about what you are going through right now, and I think it a little soon for a therapist. We all go through seasons in life as I'm sure you know, and this is your current have been through alot of change in your life lately, so drawing inward and reflecting can be quite healthy...and beneficial.
Its also entirely Biblical if this is where God has you in your life, as this is demonstrated over and over in the Bible with people who God used greatly.....God pulling people away for a season(often a very long season!)
Most people at the end of their lives consider themselves fortunate to have had one or two really good friendships.... lifelong friendships.. friends that weathered all the storms of their life and yours. So peripheral friendships will move in and out, with the seasons, and it is important to learn from them. The good one's however, like gold, need to be recognized first as gold....and then treasured for what they are.
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