Who are these people who keep to themselves and live alone without friends or family? We may know of one or several, we may even be one ourselves. They keep to themselves, they stay away from social gatherings, often mocked for their eccentricity. Honestly, the more I quietly pursue my creative expression, I am becoming one of those who people question. “What’s her deal? Why is she so weird? Why does she keep to herself?”
Years ago, a psychic told me I was a hermit in a past life and my karma this time around was to come out of shell and spend more time in social settings. No joke. This could explain my preference for the quiet life, as well as my desire to write about characters with reclusive and lonely existences.
While writing my book, Rays of Civilization about a woman who tended to a road-side grocery store along a Nevada highway her entire life, I was inspired by the Pearl Jam song (yes Pearl Jam), “Elderly woman behind the counter in a small town.” (And yes, that is the actual title).
I seem to recognize your face
Haunting, familiar yet
I can't seem to place it
Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name
Lifetimes are catching up with me
My character Georgina Lavigne was once a beautiful young woman who dreamed of marrying a man of wealth and prestige, however, her life turned out to be reclusive. Her main social contacts were travelers stopping in her store, to whom she offered up a good-natured chat. How could this happen to a woman whose life goal was to live in high-society. Perhaps it was karmic destiny, or maybe deep in her heart she wanted the quiet life.
Everyone has a story, regardless if they are a popular person with many friends, or the ones who keep to themselves. Actually, I find the quiet ones, those who keep to themselves have the most fascinating stories. They backstories of their lives are like precious gems begging us to excavate, where within we find the core of our humanity – heartbreak, pain, joys, successes and failures.
And even in this quiet life, if we are alone, if we have or don’t have a family choosing this life helps gain self-reflection. We learn not just about ourselves, but others. Maybe it’s my own life that inspires me, but what if we invest more in the quiet life, instead of trying so hard to live loud and large. The smallest is still as valuable as the largest among us.