Some species are happiest in flocks. Herds. Packs. They thrive on regular contact with others of their kind. They can't stand being alone.
Other species like nothing more than to lock themselves away with only a good book and a bar of chocolate for company.
I bet you can guess which category I fall into.
Sometimes I see it as a flaw in my genetic makeup. Other times I'm convinced it's a blessing. If I'm stuck in the house for days on end without anyone to talk to but myself, I don't go mad with boredom.* So that's a good thing. On the other hand, I'm hopeless at keeping in touch with people. And although I sometimes crave social interaction, it doesn't take many hours of company before I'm longing to be alone again. Especially if that company is in my house. (Am I the only one who can't be fully comfortable at home until all the visitors have left? Much as I like having them, I never feel I can relax in their presence.)
The thing about my kind of solitude, though, is that I'm never really by myself. There's my partner, who falls into the tiny category of people I'm happy to be alone with. (And being alone with someone is much more companionable than being alone on your own.) Added to that, no reader or writer is ever truly alone. We spend time with a multitude of other people on a daily basis. They just happen to be fictional.
I suspect there are more of us than is generally realised. People who aren't continuously going to clubs or dinner parties or meeting up with friends, as characters in sitcoms always seem to be doing. People who are happy locked away in the vast and varied expanses of their own imaginations, emerging occasionally to grab a bite to eat and exchange a few words with the rest of the world.
So here's to everyone who enjoys solitude. Strange as it may be to say it, you are not alone.
* As far as I know.
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