Despite what I might try to insist, to myself and others, I prefer my own company to that of others.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy being with other people, those that I love, and those that I like enough to tolerate (I kid, I kid!) but when I’m feeling in need of comfort I tend to look to myself.
I put it down to spending the first 8 or so years of my life as an only child.
Back then I learned to lose myself in my own imagination, later transferring that skill to reading and I revelled in the silence that that solitude brings, lost in a page turner, oblivious to the passing of time with only myself for company. Bliss.
I sound like a curmudgeon, a grumpy hermit who shuns people.
I’m really not like that and most of the time I like nothing better than to be in the company of someone I love, or people I care about. I enjoy being out and about, chatting nonsense over a drink, or sharing stories over coffee (or vice versa, of course), often with the futile hope that those moments won’t end.
They always do, of course, and then I’m back to being alone with myself and the familiar comfort of me.
When I think of comfort I don’t tend to think of soft blankets, down filled pillows or luxuriously soft leather chairs, I don’t think of hearty meals rich in carbohydrate and protein that warm me from within. When I’m feeling low, regardless of the reason, I don’t think of others, I think of me.
That makes me sound selfish and in those moments I know I can be uncaring and brutal.
Fuck this and leave me alone, I’ll be fine. Go. I’ll be fine.
Away from noises I can’t control (stop breathing so loud!), away from distractions that break the reverie (why can’t you sit at peace!), and away from my desire to be accommodating of others in any way, shape or form, I lose all will and energy for patience and compromise. Birds are singing too loud, car engines are revved too much, the scrolling clouds that change the light cast into the room torment me. Everything that I can’t control is wrong.
It’s an odd sort of comfort I admit; being able to switch off the part of my brain that has me double checking things. If I get up from the sofa I don’t need to check if anyone wants anything whilst I’m up, I don’t need to ask if anyone minds if I change the channel on the TV, nor if it’s ok to just sit in silence and read a book, no interactions unless required, no niceties, impolite and brusque.
I’m glad I don’t seek this comfort often.
It’s an odd thing really, it’s at odds with the rest of my personality, the part of me that everyone can see, the part of me I identify with is outgoing, friendly, and I hope kind and considerate. When I get up I’ll ask if you want anything while I’m on my feet, I’ll double check plans to make sure everyone is happy with them, I will compromise myself when I can to make things better for others.
That’s me, not the horrible, blunt, silent lump I can be at times.
But that lump is still me. Those thoughts of silent comfort, hidden away from the world still persist, they are part of me every day. I’m glad that most days I barely register having to put those thoughts away, but I acknowledge they are always there.
This is who I am.
When you aren’t around, when everyone is gone, I only think of me.