I took my oldest son and his friend on a 3 night cruise to the Bahamas last weekend. The prep and the stress of coordinating all the rest of the stuff at home, while trying to have my house on the market was absolute maddness. The week prior I started my nursing assistant classes and was gone much of the day which left little time for kids, studying, packing, dogs, showing my house, ya know everyday life things.
Finally settled into the hotel the eve before we set sail, I am sitting in the lounge reading and watching people. A group of women gathered to celebrate their 40th high school renuion. I watched with a close eye how the interactions and connections were made. It was so interesting to be an observer of this very social thing.
Once we set sail, I spent time walking the ship while the boys were doing their own exploring (bikini’s). As the days went on I began to feel more and more of an observer of this social world. Partly because I didn’t have anyone to talk to and partly because I was really enjoying the silence. What a really weird place to be in where you don’t really have a need to talk to anyone. Other than a waiter, there really wasn’t a need. Sitting on the outside looking in at the social-ness of people was not only fascinating from the perspective of trying to interpret non-verbals and watching a scene play out to the ease in which people interacted, or not.
I am not one to have that ease. I can DO it, I just prefer to not. I like my silence, my thoughts and solititude. By day three however,the alone-ness and solitude was wearing on my emotions. I spent the day at the beach, alone and spoke to no one. At dinner, alone and spoke to no one. All around me was togetherness, family, couples and interactiions. That began to tear at my wounded heart. I spent a lot of time journaling and meditating on my life and the ‘contracts’ that I have had with individuals in my life and what I learned from them, thus far.
The boys could both make friends with a lampost, so they had no trouble finding people and activities going on. By day two, they were encouraging me to talk to people in almost a “I dare you to” fashion. I had made it all the way to the end without once conversation or comment with a fellow passenger until the last day, the last evening, just as I was headed to bed…..dammit! Some dude asked me if I wanted to meet later for drink…..dammit. The small talk, the chit chat……I declined. I had made it that far, why start being social now??
I set out that my trip was going to be to read, be silent and relax. I read three books, napped in the sun, and was very silent. Anti-social or not, it was what my soul needed to reflect, quiet, find gratitude and peace.