On Thursday I gave 30-day-notice on my rented room and on Friday I found the right condo to buy. Real estate prices are going up steadily and this one was about $20,000 less than the other units in the complex. It needs some work, new paint and carpet, but nothing major. There is a part of me that has been feeling intensely restless and bored. After looking at real estate for a year, it was time to just do it and get it over with. I’m not comfortable being a renter and since I have no income from a job, I need to develop some passive income. If I decide I don’t want to live in this place, I will have a rental unit.
When I first moved into the room I am currently renting, I complained about the noise. But now that two people have moved out, it is unbelievably quiet. I spend almost all my time in silence. So, I am now in a very beautiful and peaceful place, but am still not enjoying living with other people. After experimenting with this for a year, I am ready to live alone again.
During the past few days I have been thinking that it is not where I live but how I live, that is important. I am now more inner-directed than ever, which for me represents transformation of consciousness. I am my own history. I write the story, develop the characters, set the scenes, plan the action. All human evolution takes place within the life of the individual. I am “living history” by being alive within the historical process and also creating it through my thoughts and actions.
When I was young, history was the dull recitation of dates, names and wars. What I learned in history classes was a miniscule slice of what certain men did at certain periods of time. The women’s liberation movement changed this by introducing the concept of the “the personal is political.” Now, millions of writers share their personal history with each other day after day, honestly and courageously. Despite repeated attempts at trying to feel connected or aligned with what happens outside of me, I consistently turn inward for support and sustenance. My real food, spiritually and emotionally, comes from the unseen and unknown.
The other day there was a big article in the NYTimes about a 74-year-old man who died alone.* Apparently, he was a hoarder and had been dead for a few weeks before anyone noticed. This kind of story is always a big draw for readers because it “proves” that this is what happens when you are a loner. The unmistakable message is that a loner’s fate is to die alone in some wretched state. Despite the fact that the majority of loners do not die in wretched circumstances, “fear sells.” Put anything fearful in the media, and people either consciously or unconsciously respond to it.
Yesterday I had lunch with a woman who is always dithering about what she wants to do. What she finally admitted is that she is afraid of being alone. She keeps making undesirable and unproductive choices to avoid being alone. Another woman recently admitted that after her divorce she made a number of disastrous choices in order to please a man she had just met. Her fear of being alone, of living alone, of making her own choices, kept her in a state of confusion for many years. It was only when she accepted being alone that her life got on the right track.
When a person accepts and appreciates their fundamental aloneness, their real life can begin. Prior to this, they are trapped in the delusion of “the lives of others.” More than ever before, I know that my life is all mine and that having the freedom to enjoy it alone is the greatest gift in the world. The more I lone, the less I care about the circumstances that may or may not surround my death. Before choosing to lone (with conscious intent), I was already dead.
* The comment that got the most recommendations (1,000) on this article was by a woman who said, “Readers, please don’t equate living alone with social awkwardness, despair or mental illness. Many of us who choose to live alone have lifelong friendships, work satisfaction, strong family bonds and a variety of hobbies. I actually find my friends who live alone more interesting than other people. And we’re not needy. We’re comfortable doing things by ourselves, but when we don’t want to be alone, we call someone. Some people need more personal space than others. Don’t feel sorry for us.”