I don’t have a problem with people or with the world, but it has always been difficult for me to find a place for myself ‘out there.’ As some of you might know, I am shy and short and frail, a most tragic combination.
No person living in a community can be self-sufficient. You need others to produce the food and the clothes and the items you use. There’s always someone else you depend on, so you can never walk away from society, unless you move in a forest and live like a hermit, feeding on roots and drinking rainwater.
When I speak of a recluse, I mean someone who shuns the company of others to be alone with himself, especially for long periods. You must love (or hate) yourself a lot to be a recluse.
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
I am an irreligious recluse by choice. I’ve been withdrawn all my life. There has been a time when I thought that something was wrong with me, and I tried to be an extrovert, and the result was black-red hair, colorful clothes, and pink boots. It did not work out.
In time I came to understand that there are many shy and withdrawn people in the world who have achieved great things, and won the favors of Lady Immortality. The world calls them artists. In their case, shyness, self-doubt, delicacy of constitution and of temper, are not faults, but artistic virtues, which make their hearts more sensible and their minds more observant.
Advantages of being a recluse
- Quiet and relaxed life.
Total control over your daily schedule.
More free time.
Increased output because you have fewer distractions.
No accidents, no illnesses.
Reduced expenses. Since you don’t go out, you don’t spend money on clothes, perfumes, cars, restaurants, and so on. For my part, I even cut my hair.
Disadvantages of being a recluse
- The silence, so peaceful and relaxing at first, can become at times louder than the loudest noise.
- No sweethearts. I sleep in a single bed people.
- If you are not careful, in time you become critical of the world outside your attic, sometimes unjustly so.
- You can develop strange habits.
- You are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses, or simply to go mad.
- You can’t win the lottery because you’re not playing. No unexpected love affairs/fortunes/friends/events.
“Being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.”
― Charles Bukowski, Women
In conclusion, I think that when you are an artist and want to devote yourself to your art, becoming a recluse for a year or two can be an interesting experience that can make you a better person, though possibly at the cost of losing some friends. But it’s questionable whether being a recluse all your life is good for your artistic career. I have my doubts, which is why I will start going out more after finishing Oliver Colors’ biography. I can never be a social butterfly, but I will not stay an attic moth forever.At present the boy with a hat doesn’t have time for editing. He entreats his readers to be kind and forgive and forget any literary mistakes they might discover in his posts. (This post was based on an older entry.)