Quietly me

by Molly Moore
Molly sitting on the beach in Brighton

The other day on Twitter I wrote “I am at heart a very solitary person” to my surprise it got a rather large number of favourites and retweets mainly from other authors and bloggers. I think it would be safe to assume that those communities harbour their fair share of introverts certainly being a writer has long been a profession associated with introverts and over the course of history a fair number of authors who have been renowned for being hermits.

I am definitely not hermit material, being completely on my own and away from all human interaction all the time would make me exceptionally unhappy but I am a person who can only function well/happily if I get plenty of time on my own. Despite @domsigns often joking that I don’t like people he is in some regards right, because I find people can be utterly exhausting. I love going out and seeing people, I love time spent with my friends or going to events but too much of it and the craving for a few moments of peace and quiet will gradually start to niggle in my brain until eventually it is all I can think about. It is not a reflection of the people I am with but a reflection me and what makes me function best.

It has taken me many years to accept and understand this about myself. For many years I believed I was shy, it was term I would often use to describe myself but then other people would look at me with disbelief when I used it which was rather confusing. Over time I realised that rather than being quiet and reserved because shyness was making me that way, I would at time chose to be quiet and reserved and even solitary because that is what I wanted and needed, which is very different from being that way because you don’t have a choice. Hence introverted as opposed to shy.

As I have got older I have got better at finding at creating a balance in my life so that my introverted soul can be nourished. it has probably been one of the most challenging parts of being a parent actually, when they were small it didn’t seem to be as much as a challenge as it is now they are grown, after all having a child sleeping in your arms or lost in their own imaginary play world still leaves you space for your own quiet. That increasingly disappears as they get older but the guilt that comes with your own feelings of needing time and space doesn’t. However understanding myself better and why I feel the way I do at times, has made it easier.

One of the things I have learned plays a bigger part in my life than just being something I like doing is my photography. I love the creative side of it, from thinking about the images I want to create, to finding the locations, shooting the images and editing them afterwards. The whole thing makes me happy, even on those days when the light fails me, my camera battery dies or I just can’t get the shot to be the way I want it and I feel like screaming with frustration, I still love it. Once the moment has passed I will be looking ahead to the next opportunity to take pictures. However there is more to it than that, because going out with my camera is one of those things I do when I really need to ‘check out’ of the world for a bit. There is something very therapeutic about disappearing off for an hour or so into the woods or across the fields with my camera. No matter the location really, it is the opportunity for there to be quiet, not in the literal sense, although that is often the case but in the solitary sense. It is just me and the world around me, no one needs my attention, for just a little while I am all that there is and I love it.

Molly sitting on the beach in BrightonA - z Blogging challenge

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Velvet Rose April 20, 2015 - 11:44 pm

Oh how I relate to this post Molly. My regular place of retreat is my weekly yoga class. For one and a half hours once a week my phone is turned off and no-one that depends on my can get hold of me, they all know this and there are no exceptions!

I love this picture of you, I recall seeing it before or one very similar!

Velvet x

Kayla Lords April 21, 2015 - 2:10 am

I am such an introvert and if I could, I would be a hermit. But, as you well know, once I’m comfortable, I’m practically sociable. 🙂

I need to be by myself but I enjoy people-watching and being around people on my own terms. I guess I’m saying that I understand. 🙂

Malin James April 21, 2015 - 3:23 am

I relate to this so much. I too considered myself shy for many years, when really it’s just that I need a fair amount of time to myself. I would never, ever want to be without the people that I love, but in order to be my best self, I need time alone. This is getting harder as my daughter gets older, something I’m struggling with now, so I was especially relieved by what you wrote in relation to parenthood. I often feel like she should be the exception (which induces tons of counter-productive guilt) when in reality, the introversion, the need for quiet, is just part of who I am. Hopefully, I’ll find a workable balance. In the meantime, I’m very happy to have read this. xxx

f dot leonora April 21, 2015 - 3:31 am

exactly as you put it, just needing time to recharge. i play nicely with others, but i do need that time to myself. to be quiet with myself and regroup to be able to interact with others. i think it is a good thing!

Julie April 21, 2015 - 6:51 am

I can also relate to this. Finding your own space within our often crazy world is so important. Sometimes too, it is possible to find that space in close proximity to others, and to be quiet and introverted just as you need. Love the photos you take when you have been away for an hour or two on your own…….

Rebecca Black April 21, 2015 - 12:35 pm

Lovely post. I have young kids (6 & 3 yrs old). I mourned the loss of my youngest’s daytime naps for months as that was the only time I got to myself during the day. I love my kids, but have always needed time to myself. I’m happier for that time to myself, so I’m a better mum for them and a better partner for my man if I take that time. When I take an hour in the shower at the weekend – they know not to moan about it!! It’s all about balance, right?

Molly Moore April 21, 2015 - 12:43 pm

Absolutely, balance is the key. You can not give all the time, it is just not possible and sometimes you have to be truthful and honest with those people in your life and say. I love you but I need this time for me. I also think it teaches kids good lessons too, that it is OK to nurture yourself, that being a parent does not mean losing sight of who YOU are and then people are all different and have different needs and respecting that about the people we love is so very important


Marie Rebelle April 21, 2015 - 6:46 pm

Like so many times before, this post could have been one of mine. Your middle three paragraphs are so close to how I feel, and reading your last, I suddenly realize that this is what I missed: I need to go out more. I need to find my energy back and do it, because I haven’t been out for so long. It’s time to get back into the swing of things and get my state of mind back to healthy again.

Lovely post, Molly.

Rebel xox

Cammies on the Floor April 22, 2015 - 12:07 am

The picture seems to really relate well to the writing. I don’t need time alone very often, so can’t echo the sentiments above, but when I get that rare urge for quiet, it is very necessary.
I think your thoughts on children are so well articulated and hit a great point.


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