You wouldn’t know from looking at me across the street, but I feel ill at ease in the world I inhabit. Supposedly I fit in. I don’t stick out in appearance, social life, nor work from my peers. I fit the bill of “normal” quite well. And, I would say, my life is in many ways a lovely and wholesome one.
…Except that a growing amount of time has me wishing that I could uproot my home, family, and friends, and move to some remote island.
I am not quite sure what we would be doing, apart from drinking coffee, planting vegetables and watching them grow. It is still kind of fuzzy to me. Especially brought on by the fact that most of my friends would be downright displeased with living on a distant island, removed from the hubbub of modern society. I can’t really blame them for that. It’s just that often I feel very much out of tune with modern society.
I recognize that part of the problem is that I am very much an introvert stuck in an extrovert world. A world where social availability, constant adaptability, and an outgoing personality are seen as core qualities of a life well lived. As a person who feels emotionally drained when faced with too many people, projects, and ambitions, this is tiring and unwelcome.
I do the bat cave thing, as any sensible introvert would do. I send my husband (who is notoriously outgoing) out to meet with friends. I put the children to bed. And I make myself busy with making snacks, and idle with sitting on the sofa. I do my utmost to escape to other worlds where no one has EVER ever ever heard of Linkedin, Facebook, networking, self-help books, diets, and smartphones… (I could continue with the list for at least half a page more, but I hope that you get the basic point).
My friends say that I may have been born a century, or two, too late.
I lose myself to other climates far friendlier to my soul. I lose myself not to a lesser life, but to the straightforward and magical life of books, art, and food.
My problem is this: as I grow older, it is quite often not enough. I can barely manage recharging my batteries within the time that is available to me. I don’t think there is a bat cave large enough, or enough Fridays in the foreseeable decade, to make me regain my breath. I simply feel outpaced by modern society as a whole.
I am not overworked or stressed out, but, as my friends jokingly say, I may have been born a century or two too late. Personally, I think an alternate and more mellow dimension of this world would have sufficed.
I don’t really have the option of leaving. I don’t want to either. I love the people around me, even though their company sometimes drain my batteries. I love my friends, my party-going husband, my noisy kids, and everything in between.
But I am wondering if perhaps there are tribespeople out there with the same problem as me, and good ideas. Like: How do you find inner peace in large quantities when muggle life keeps knocking on your front door, and moving to the wilderness is just not an option?
How do you cope when you feel out of place in modern society?