Ramblings of a Wannabe Hermit

Sometimes I think I would make a good hermit…sometimes I actually think I want to be one in fact. I just get so frustrated with the state of the world. Then I remember how much I like having a regular job, having social interaction and remember I’m the last person that would ever be able to just live off the land. I just have these moments, even days sometimes, when I genuinely just want to spend time with only myself. The past couple of days have been like that. Generally I feel like my social life could be better, that I should have more friends or be doing more things but then I have days like these where there’s nothing I would rather do than sit in my room, watch Parks and Recreation on Netflix and read.

It also tends to happen when I’m going through something emotionally. I tend to just go inside myself and don’t really want to come out. I’ve been having this whole rethink lately about social media and what our society has become because of it. I’m on Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat just as much as the next person but I still manage to put my phone away for a movie, when I’m at dinner with someone or just spending time with friends. Wherever I go these days I see people interacting…with their phones and not each other. I witnessed a mom and daughter at dinner a few weeks ago and they literally said nothing to each other the entire time. They stared at their phones until their food came and then they ate until they were done. I didn’t have a cell phone when I was a kid because they weren’t invented yet and I’m actually quite thankful for that. Even with a disability, I played outside. My mom took me shopping and to lunches. My parents took me places and we had game nights. I didn’t spend most of my life staring at a screen.

I love the internet and it amazes me how far we’ve come technologically. It just makes me sad that this whole idea of social media has made us all so unsocial with the actual people in our lives. When I was growing up, we thrived off of getting attention and validation from our peers or a boy/girl…now people are thriving off getting attention and validation from their phones or a popup notification. Neither one is good of course but you get my point. I’ve found myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook these past few weeks and then thinking, “what am I doing?”. As bitchy or judgmental as it sounds, I just don’t care what you ate for dinner or if you’re on your way to Coachella for the third time. If you want to tell me what you did, pick up the phone even if it’s just to text me (and people who are my good friends usually do). I think it’s been a good month since I even had a phone conversation with someone other than parents.

My personal feeling is that some things should just stay private too. We’ve all gotten so used to living in this public culture where we share every detail. Look at me, I blog about a lot of intimate things here but I have to draw the line at checking into the Emergency Room on Facebook. There’s just some things that should stay sacred, that I would think people would want to keep sacred.

I’ve posted a thousand blogs about the topic and about my reasons for breaking from social media so I won’t beat the topic to a pulp. I just get so saddened with how disconnected we’ve all become. So sometimes I would just rather be alone and connect with myself since sometimes it seems like I’m the only genuinely interested in connecting with me.

The older I get, the less I want to just sit silent and not say what I think or how I feel, no matter who it might offend as evidenced by a lot of the things I’ve said here I’m sure. I think I can thank my 93 year old feisty (and completely filter-less) grandma for that. Life’s too short to spend it constantly trying get everyone to like you or say the right thing all the time (even with your closest friends) and sometimes things just need to be said. I want to be my authentic self outwardly, not just inwardly. So there, I’ve said it.

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4 thoughts on “Ramblings of a Wannabe Hermit

  1. Just to let you know Jackie, since being bound to a W/C I’ve had more social interaction than in previous years of my life. After my gym and pool workouts, I usually go down to Huntington Beach Pier Plaza to sit and watch the surfers. I can’t be by myself anywhere I HB because of it?? O Easter Sunday I went down at about 8:30 am to see a friend who went to the Sunrise Service. As we were talking I heard a voice scream HEY ROSS. A homeless guy I’ve known a couple of years who was arrested back in Oct. of last year. I yelled Kenny? He came down to tell me he had been released on Saturday and came back to HB to see me and thank me??? He said because I spent time trying to straighten him up off booze and drugs he wanted to thank me?? I thought who goes through detox, almost dies, but survives, and returns to tell the guy if you don’t go through it now you could die, to thank him?? It made the day very special. He still drinks, but much less, and now has a direction in life:-). To be part of that had nothing to do with being disabled or in a W/C. It was me being me…

    1. Thanks for sharing Ross, that’s a great story! This was one of my few posts that actually had no relation to my being disabled. It’s more just how I feel about things as a human being. I think I would be annoyed about how attached we’ve become to our phones with or without MD 🙂

  2. Hey Jackie,
    My name is Luke, and I’m an occupational therapy student at Loma Linda University taking a class with Sharon Pavlovich. One of the things Sharon wanted us to do was to check out your blog, and I was interested to see this post of yours because I relate to it very much. Not sure if you think of yourself as an introvert, but I think of myself as one, so a lot of what you were saying really connects with my experiences. I think I only genuinely enjoy authentic social interaction, and so social media generally and the countless meaningless conversations that I have to have because of various obligations just drive me to want to spend time with myself a lot too. In fact, I really enjoy just being alone with myself as well, watching good Netflix (Parks is good, but The Office is definitely my favorite, with 30 Rock being a close 2nd), playing some games I enjoy, or even spending time with pets… it may sound weird, but sometimes my interactions with them seem more real than a lot of interactions that I have with other people. I cut the cord on Facebook a while ago and I haven’t looked back… I find that I don’t really need it for anything and I too just don’t care about what anyone posts on it for the most part. It just feels like this big attention competition that means absolutely nothing, so why bother.

    I think most people are just afraid of being alone honestly. Most people fill their lives with all of this noise to distract themselves from facing who they really are. And it makes sense, because facing ourselves in solitude can be really scary because often we don’t like everything we see in ourselves. Being someone that has really accepted my shortcomings as much as I can through getting in tune with myself in solitude, I definitely think the whole experience can be painful but can really be worth it when you come out on the other side. It’s like you’ve been awoken from sleep, and now you see the rest of the people out there as “asleep”. That may sound judgmental, because well I guess it is. I don’t really mind because people constantly judge me for not being “outgoing” enough or whatever, so I’m sure they can handle a little judgment back. Anyways, I digress… for me, I really only need a few close friends, some quality time with myself and my hobbies, and good food to be happy. All of this noise out there is just hard for me to connect with, and no matter how much people want me to conform to how society in general operates, I just don’t think I will be doing that anytime soon.

    So, I don’t know if anything I shared connects with at all of how you feel, but just wanted to share my experience and let you know that there is at least someone else out there who gets the idea of wanting to be a hermit. Thanks for posting your blog comments and I’m curious to know what you think about all of this.

    1. Hi Luke. Thanks so much for the feedback. The highest compliment I can ever get on my blog is that something I’ve shared resonates with someone else. I often contemplate whether or not I’m an introvert. Most of the time I’m very social and talkative with people (though I was painfully shy and quiet for most of my life) so I’d say in that way, I verge on outgoing. But I also live very much inside myself and it takes me a while to warm up to people initially so I think I probably overall am still an introvert just with improved social skills? lol. For most of my life I was very insecure and never wanted to do anything on my own (I was afraid of being alone just like you said). Part of that was because of my disability. I was afraid to do things on my own…what if I fell? What if there was a curb I couldn’t get up? When I got into my first serious relationship, we did everything together and my not wanting to do anything alone got even worse. Then we broke up and I decided I didn’t want to be reliant so much on people anymore in any capacity. There’s always going to be some aspect of me needing to rely on other people. When I fall, getting up a curb or even to stand up for me when I can’t do it for myself and someone is questioning my disability or I’m afraid to ask for help when I need it. But as I get older, the more I want to do everything I can on my own. I want to push myself to do things I might have said I couldn’t do in the past. I want to do things alone, even if it’s just something like going to the movies. I don’t feel like I need the security or the “look I have friends!” that doing things with people used to provide me. I still love doing things with the close friends I do have but I crave more of a balance now of solo time and friend time. I enjoy spending time with just me now which is great. So that was a very long winded answer to your question there but I totally get everything you’re saying. Your perspective on social media is spot on too. Thanks so much for the insight.

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