How varied the definition of simplicity is for so many, don’t you think? For the minimalist living off-grid in the depths of nature, simplicity would look far different than it might to my suburban-dwelling self. I never thought I would see myself in my parent’s former home, with everything we needed to live a full and rich life, along with the profound gratitude that comes with it all. While I long to live amongst more solitude and less chaos, I must assess my own desire to keep my children connected to the community they’ve always known, and balance that with the simple life I crave.
Now that there has been a profound shift in my life, again, I return to the principles that I keep trying to enable in my life. I’ve allowed myself to creep into the fringes of excess here and there, and one finds themselves wanting in those times I believe. How sad it would be to be so unsettled with oneself, that they risk everything, to abject ruination, to only find themselves artificially surrounded by forced interactions. It would almost be like picking up the phone and offering a friend twenty dollars if they would come over to have dinner with you. The emptiness of desperation is something I hope to never encounter and so far I have escaped anything of the sort. I would rather eat alone with the stars, enjoying their twinkling company.
Throughout my life, I have endured the company of friends, fools and fake/forced friendships. I recall with incredible clarity a conversation I had with someone long ago. They were in a relationship where their significant other was being verbally abusive. Locking themselves in their room, placing a chair under the knob, they called me, sobbing, wanting to know how it got to be like this. I had no quality answers, as I spent more than a decade with a violent and abusive man. Only by his death did I escape for good. Today, they have accepted and settled into the life they chose, and they suffocate because of it. When I found myself alone well into my second year of voluntary solitude, I lamented to them about it and they suggested I was crazy to seek out the company of another, when I could have what they craved; complete solitude. (Well, I shouldn’t say complete, as I have my children at home, but they meant in the couple sense.)
I spent far too much time in the past concentrating on latching on to people and situations that fulfilled some sort of societal norm. I compromised my principles, my beliefs and every other thing that I’d come to love about myself and poured it into being what I thought I should be. Now I know how wrong that was. Society says we need to find the person who “completes us” or “makes us feel whole” or some other such cliché that we hear so often in our lives. The compromises we allow and the emotional suffering we endure become heavier over time until we feel the crushing weight of them. Only when we finally shove them off, discard them like the offensive things they are can we truly begin to awaken again to the reality of who we are and who we need to be.
Don’t get me wrong. I have been thrilled for so many wonderful people in my life who have found happiness. It is a genuine feeling that I truly have about their lives and I rejoice in their enjoyment of life and family. I’ve never been jealous or envious of their situations, and for that I feel peace knowing I feel that way. At this point, it is completely pointless to try and do anything other than move forward, knowing that my contentment and solitude matter more than anything. It allows me to live a simple life, seeking out quality time with my children, the pursuit of my hobbies and personal enjoyment, and the continued improvement of my health. Chaos no longer has a place in my life, along with the expulsion of constant lies, concealment, deception and desperation, I can finally breathe again. While I don’t believe I will ever be able to comprehend how one person can be so cruel to another, I am free of it. The anvil has been tossed far from me, finally.
Not going to lie…I’d never heard this song before today. It’s…uh, appropriate! The silence of solitude has never before been SO welcome. I’m thankful for it.