After decades of intermittent depression/anxiety struggles and not feeling I fit into whatever grand experiment we're in, it all changed when I decided to stop listening to and experiencing inner pressures to be more social, date more, find a partner, be less isolated. After years of trying all of the above (I even remember one amusing workshop on finding soulmates where literally the best "success story" that was offered was, "She dated 100 people, and after the 99th, she had success, and you can too!"), I no longer wanted my energy to go there.
Instead I turned toward the solitude I gravitate to inherently and fully embraced it. The power I have felt from my start on this planet is that I never feel alone when I am alone. My earliest memories are observing nature, and my parents were patient enough to allow me a full hour to walk around a single block as a toddler, since I had to commune with every leaf and flower. In other words, I am by other people's/culture's metrics showing "isolating behavior," but I find incredible richness in connection with my inner world/imagination, the natural world around me which I find super nourishing, and increasingly spiritual exploration.
It dawned on me that even if I may concern others by my behavior, I can reassure them that I experience greatest peace and connection with all that is when alone. Kind of a hard thing to describe to those who may not experience this. In short, I feel I am expert in balancing health and needs in the circumstances most are currently living under. If you are wanting some advice on being an isolation warrior, just hit me up (not literally).
I am capable of switching on an outgoing aspect in order to serve/help others (my first spoken word was "hi!" and mini-me did not stop saying it to everyone who crossed my path), and am actually finding myself having a reverse trend from most in this "sheltering in place" time. In the past month, I've had more social interaction, participated in more networks, more meditation groups, more family conversations than I have in 15 years.
The fact I enjoy my solitude does not mean what is happening in communities large and small everywhere does not impact me. I feel it, honor the background grief and watch the waves of energy and fear rise and fall. But most of all, I have learned to be gentle with myself in times of great upheaval, because I have had good training. May you be gentle with yourself too.
Virtual Maker Circles 4/4 & 4/5
If you would like to connect as fellow isolation warriors, my offer remains to be present for as long as our quarantining lasts, each Saturday & Sunday @4:30 pm PST for Maker Circles, link on home page. Bring anything you're working on and maybe a cup of tea or coffee. Open to anyone. So far we've had a puzzle being made, weaving, cross-stitch, knit design, and crochet. I'm plotting out a pattern to knit my own face mask. Care to join me to help figure out the best shape?
Wool is surprisingly suitable for a face mask for these reasons*:
*Please know I understand enough about the mechanics of viruses to know a knitted mask is not recommended or protective against them. I find no masks available, and if I had one I'd give it to my sister on the frontlines (donate to Mask-Match, Masks for Humanity, DonatePPE, PPE Link). I thought I would attempt to make one for when I go into public spaces just because it's better than nothing to protect others from me. I am 100% healthy at this time thankfully, but we all know we can be silent carriers.
Staying close to the wealth of nature and making with my hands bring me greatest joy and comfort. You can find me on Instagram as @waterwomanknits, and on Ravelry as Waterwoman-Knits.