This article feels more anecdotal than scientific... but it resonates nonetheless. With my closest friends miles and and oceans away, it hits a little close to home.


I've been noodling these ideas for a while now, as a dude rapidly approaching 50.

Up until my mid-30's, or so, I had to constantly be surrounded by noise and action. I was so afraid of being alone with myself that I constantly sought out Things To Do, and packed my schedule with All The Things.

In my early 40's I experienced a realization that I had been a bad relationship partner due to this failure to look inside. So I spent basically a year alone, with myself, learning about me. Probing my thoughts. My life patterns.

And I found it.

One week I went from being panicked about having "nothing to do", to simply being at peace with myself, and enjoying time alone. No music. No TV. No distractions. Just me, being with me.

And I gotta tell ya... a calm came over me that was deeply profound. And it is something I can still tap in to at a moment's notice. I can simply shut down all the noise and chatter, and just BE. Absorb the world. Breathe. Be comfortable.

The results have been interesting... I have friends, many of them, but I don't spend much time with them. But when we do spend time together, it is rejuvenating. We may do nothing other than sit and chat and watch the sun set... but both of us will find a deep inner calm we needed, and got in each others' presence.

I also find that people now assume I own every venue I am standing in. If I go to a bar, or a party, or a fundraiser, or a restaurant, or any sort of gathering, people will mistake me for the organizer/owner. "Hi, I'm Marcy. Is this your place?" or some other similar comment will be made to me by multiple people throughout the event.

There is something about someone who is fully present, and not "performing", that makes people think you own the place.

It is truly weird.

As my wife and I have "nested" in our house, and messed about a bit with the garden, and gotten into a good CSA that delivers us fresh food to cook every week, I find myself happier and happier to simply sit in a chair in my back yard, and look up at my Douglas Fir tree, and simply BE.

(Note: I do also go to live shows, like on Saturday, and drink far too much with old friends from elementary school who I haven't seen in years, and I have a fantastic time there, too. So I don't think this is a repudiation of other people's lifestyles, or anything, it is simply me finding my "comfortable place" in any situation, because I am comfortable in my own skin. I think. I dunno...?)

Friends are great. Being your own friend is an inexpressible joy.

posted by steve: 699 days ago