As I said in my last post, I’m currently house sitting on the West Coast of Ireland.
The setting here is very rural. In my immediate vicinity I just have the animals I am caring for. The closest neighbours are across the road and down a little bit. There are a few other houses around, some occupied, but many are holiday homes for city folk and the like.
Overlooking Killala Bay here, I am quite isolated… when normally in my life, if hanging at home, there are still sounds of life all around me… I know there are people in neighbouring houses, I know there are cars driving with people very near me. I know there is a city buzzing away outside.
Here… there’s none of that.
It’s quiet… it’s peaceful… it’s very still.
I realised the other day that I’ve actually never spent that much time alone, for extended periods.
I’ve always lived with family or friends or partners. Even when I’ve had the house to myself there’s always other people near by or it’s not for any real length of time.
Even last year, this time last year, when I was away in Plum Village (a Mindfulness Buddhist Retreat Center in the South of France) for almost 4 months… I was still surrounded by people all the time. Sure I could get some alone time, but in general I was staying in a (large) room with 5 others and there was a community of people consistently around.
Community is, certainly for me, wonderful. It’s a major source of support and a major anchor in keeping myself well.
But for now…
Actual time alone is providing to be comforting and kinda interesting.
Without the normal distractions of everyday life around me, I have had more time and head space for just me. No pressures of any kind (apart from needing to feed myself and the animals).
I’m 36 and I’ve never spent long periods of time by myself, just me, nothing and no one else.
In one way it’s a slight paradox… in my darkest days I feel intrinsically alone… needing connection, needing to be heard, needing to be understood, needing to know it’s going to be ok.
Here, it’s just me … me connecting to myself, me listening to myself, me understanding myself, me saying it’s going to be ok… and me saying it IS ok.
Because of this current experience, I’ve had thoughts of wanting to live on my own … however in Ireland at this present time… it’s pretty expensive to do so… unless you are in the middle of nowhere.
As much as I am liking this experience, I know long periods of solitude would not be good for me… I do need and want human connection …
…Maybe, for now, I’ll just keep at this Housesitting thang for a while longer 🙂