If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. – Maya Angelou
Many people would love my life, and many people would loathe it. For some, it would look like something straight off of their vision board. For others, it would look like their idea of hell.
It’s a quiet life – a very quiet life. It’s a life filled with solitude and stillness: writing, reflecting, listening, and introspecting.
I spend hours each day alone in my office. Door closed. Complete silence. I follow my soul’s whispers, and I’ve found that I am unable to hear them if I am not still, quiet, and open.
I also spend hours each day talking with my husband. We analyze, speculate, question, ponder, and connect.
Each night, we take a walk around our quiet neighborhood. Then we come home, play a game of backgammon, eat a snack, and play with the cats.
Aside from my nightly walks, I only leave the house about once a week. And while it’s sometimes nice to get out and have new experiences, I’m honestly always so happy to come back home.
I love my quiet life. I really do. But it’s taken me years and years to embrace it.
A Hermetic Life
For so long, I wondered if something was wrong with me. Why didn’t I want to be out in the world more? Why didn’t I want to spend more time with friends? How could I possibly be content living a secluded, hermetic, isolated, quiet life?
So for many years, I hid these parts of myself – the parts that longed to be alone and quiet and still. The parts that simply wanted to be away from normal society and away from regular jobs and away from the hustle and bustle of the world.
I tried to fit in, and I think I did a pretty good job. I can be outgoing. I can be social. I can be a part of the crowd. I can be in it all.
But I was always exhausted. And I was never truly authentically myself.
I longed to pull back from the world, but I didn’t feel like I had a good enough reason – until my body gave me one: In my late teens, I got sick. And I stayed that way throughout my 20s.
I now see that I had unconsciously created a valid excuse to be able to stay home – away from the busy outer world. And this excuse gave me plenty of time to journal and reflect and ponder and get in touch with my soul, which is what I had always longed for.
In my 30s I finally gave myself permission to live this happily cocooned life without the illnesses. I moved to the top of a secluded mountain where I rarely saw anyone (except for my husband and my mom who lived down the road).
And I loved it.
I loved the isolation. I loved the stillness and solitude. I loved the silence.
No matter how much I loved this new lifestyle, though, some people worried about me. One friend told me that she thought I must be depressed. She assumed that it was wrong of me not to be more like her: social and outgoing and constantly in motion.
But by this point, I was done basing my life on what others thought or how much they worried or how they would rather I be living. I gave myself permission to simply listen to my soul and let myself go where it took me.
And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years – unapologetically living my own truth. And it feels amazing.
While it’s not the life for everyone, it’s truly the life for me – not the one that I think I’m supposed to be living or the one that others want me to live. It’s an outward reflection of the inner me.
Living Our Truth
And that’s what I wish for each of us: to be brave enough to live our own truth and our own life.
This means taking the time to go within and really getting to know who we are, what we like, what we don’t like, how we want to spend our days, how we don’t want to spend our days, who we want to spend our days with, and who we don’t want to spend them with. Taking the time to get all of this clear within our hearts, and then making this inner longing an outward reality. Even if it goes against the norm, even if it puts you on the fringes of society, even if others disapprove or simply don’t understand you.
Because living YOUR life is so important. Your happiness is so important. YOU are so important.
Not only does it feel great to live your true life, but as you do so, you also make it easier for others to live their truth. And wouldn’t it be amazing to look around and see everyone showing up in the world as their authentic selves? Wouldn’t that be so refreshing and so freeing?
I certainly think so.