The Art of Being Completely Alone
Emily J. Smith

Emily, several years ago I created a Web Site called Modern Cave Dweller, dedicated to people who prefer solitude, and led with an article called “Not Every Recluse Suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder”. Even though I’ve neglected the Site for nearly a decade (that is about to change), over those years, hundreds of people have made unsolicited affirmative responses to the article — I received another in my inbox last night. We, who find strength and peace in solitude are not alone in our preferences.

I created the Site because I encountered a growing number of creative people who’ve engineered their lives in a way to avoid the turbulence of social interaction.

As the original cave dwellers, were forced to venture, into the world to forage and hunt, we too are slaves to our biological needs, but once sated, we happily return to our caves, where we are safe from saber-tooth tigers and neanderthals.

When I was younger, I was on a perpetual quest for romantic love. Unfortunately I found it several times and have the scars to prove it. Fortunately age has reduced the flood of hormones to a mere trickle, (though I admit my disappointment when after Brad and Angelina broke up she did not call), I have, without regret, consigned myself to a solo ride.

It’s actually a fine life. No one but me determines what’s on the TV, or when I stop writing, reading, or editing videos and come to bed. I can skip the shower for days, and best of all, I can fart as loudly as I want in the morning with no one to admonishment me, or complain.

I have a half dozen or so friends. I speak to them each once or twice a year and though we eschew more than a single annual in-person get together, we know in a pinch we’d be there to defend each other’s cave…or bank account.

Full disclosure, I did have a kid, a daughter. I loved her more than I thought possible and sacrificed every dream and aspiration I had to raise her in safety and comfort. Once she left for college, she decided she didn’t need a dad and I was left with a hole in my heart that I will never be able to fill, or heal. So take comfort in not having had children. They are an impediment to your creative freedom and self actualization. And the TV shows they watch are really dumb.

Emily, enjoy your solitude. We are born alone; we die alone and in between we suffer alone. All else is, at best, illusion and more often than not, an intrusion.