Seeking seclusion

by Lorin Michel Monday, May 22, 2017 10:26 PM

I sometimes dream about existing in a cocoon. Not one spun by caterpillars, not a hard shell, just a safe place. A place where I can be quiet and safe, where the outside world doesn’t intrude; where the inside world comforts. 

I am not prone to cocooning, not usually. I’m not an extrovert but I’m also not an introvert. I’m private, reserved. I don’t necessarily keep to myself but I don’t let people in easily. It’s hard for people to know me and I realize that at this age, I won’t be changing. I am what I am. 

But lately, as the world spirals ever out of control for all of us, I feel the urge to crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head, to burrow, to cocoon, at least for the next few years. Nearly four to be exact unless something happens and it’s less. But it’s still four until we have an opportunity to truly change the trajectory of a country leading the way in the spiral down. 

I am consumed by news. It’s the first thing I check in the morning, the last thing I view at night. I get News Alerts throughout the day from various sources, often telling me the same thing. I think – I dream – about how nice it would be to not care but I don’t know how to do that. How do you not care about what’s happening in the world?

How do you not care that there are those determined to hurt others? That some of those doing the hurting are those in great power, those who control the government?

How do you not pay attention to the terror, the fear, the ineptitude, the ridiculousness?

How do you absorb the constancy of change, of not knowing, and continue to be upbeat and positive and work and play and drink wine and spend time with friends and family and enjoy life? 

The answer, of course, is that you simply do. There is no other choice, or rather, the only other choice is unacceptable.

I am an optimist by nature. I didn’t used to be but as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that facing the world, facing the day, going through life with a positive attitude is much more conducive to having a happy and positive life. It’s something I actually learned in college when being miserable and feeling sorry for myself for reasons I can no longer remember made for a very unhappy and unproductive existence. Back then, I had to force myself to be positive, to simply go through each day with a smile. I had to pretend that things didn’t bother me. I don’t have to pretend anymore. I made the decision a long time ago. I embrace it now. It’s part of me. It’s easier. 

And harder. Since November, I find it more difficult to exist in a state of perpetual happiness. I find it easier to be angry and frustrated and hateful. I don’t like it.

So I seek a cocoon; I crave seclusion so that I can get back to my life as I know it, as I remember it. Life that is good, filled with love and laughter and potential. That’s the life I embrace; that I crave. The life that is living it out loud.

Painting: Seclusion Redux, by Roy Guzman

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live out loud

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