I started reading over some old journals the other day--from the early nineties. It’s been interesting and disturbing. I talked about “natural propensities” a few entries back, and it’s clear from reading these old journals that I have a few, which have been present most of my life.
The desire to write, the need for solitude, the need for material simplicity and the corresponding problem of how to earn enough money for survival, the quest for wisdom and the spiritual life, my desire to live on a farm or in a cottage or cabin close to nature, the conflict between my desire to be alone and my desire for relationship.
The one that’s interesting and most bothersome is the strong pull to be something of a recluse. I felt that strongly back then but didn’t allow it to find expression in my life because it seemed so antisocial, maybe even abnormal. Now as I get older I see it as a legitimate calling and wonder how I could have denied this vital aspect of myself for so long. Why have I fought against myself for so long? Feeling like I ought to try to live a more extraverted life, because there must be something there for me to learn. Why fight against the current? Why would I think that I need to deny what is most genuine about myself?
I wrote often about my need to live a very independent life and yet I always got myself bogged down in relationships and when I did, I quit following my dreams. I think I do that partly for the financial security. Being me, where I place so little value on material things, it’s hard for me to focus on money, even the small amount needed for my basic survival. So, linking up with a man gives me that financial security, but at a great cost.
When do I finally choose to forge ahead on my own, to make it work some way, somehow, so I can most fully embody who I’m meant to be in this life? I need to start writing and submitting things for publication to see if that’s the way I could earn a meager living. If I choose an eremitic lifestyle, I still want to contribute to the world. Writing seems to be the most obvious way.
It would be neat to have a woodshop too and earn some money from that. A writer and a woodworker--combining the talents I received from both Mom’s and Dad’s lineages. That would be a satisfying life.