Back in the 90’s it was sooo ‘in’ for kids to identify themselves as loners. It was a complete sham, of course, but kids are kids and they really go for that stuff. Young people are dealing with not only a flood of new and weird hormones saturating their bodies and brains…they’re dealing with trying to reconcile who they really are inside with the complete bullshit ideas that we, their parents, have saddled them with.
I’m not accusing we parents here because the sad fact of humanity is that we have kids when we are still kids ourselves. We haven’t yet thrown off the yoke of bad ideas that our own parents drilled into us and even when we intend, and fully believe, that we’re doing things completely differently than our parents did, when you reach my age (51), you realize, with appropriate horror, that you did things exactly the same way.
What is a true loner, really? First of all, I don’t like that term, ‘loner’. It sounds sad and seems to imply that a person really, really wants to have lots of friends and to be socially engaged 24 hours a day but they’re just too awkward and freakish and frightened of people to be able to pull it off.
Not so, weirdos.
In actual fact, we should be called ‘solitary’ or ‘independent’. We wholeheartedly choose to spend our time alone rather than being forced into loneliness by any socially deficient attributes. Society has not shunned us. In most cases, the people who meet true solitaries like them immensely and end up feeling (sadly) shunned themselves when the further development of friendships or relationships does not interest the solitary.
I am an extreme independent. I don’t have ‘friendships’, other than my (also solitary) husband and our children, grandchildren and parents. I have acquaintances. There is not a single person, other than these family members, that I would choose to just ‘hang out’ with. I’ve tried the friendship thing and it made me extremely anxious, bored, irritated and itching to get away from the idle chit-chat that seems to prevail in these relationships.
Over the years, I’ve developed a deep love and reverence for humanity, with all our flaws. But I have to love it from afar. When I’m forced into up close and personal relations with people, when I see how rude and hateful they can actually be, how crazy and ruthless their opinions can be…that love and compassion is tried tremendously. I say this with the full realization that I am also one of these human beings and with full knowledge that what I consider to be idle conversations and superficial relationships carry their own benefits for the development of the human spirit. Benefits that I am (probably tragically) choosing to forgo.