Solitary and Independent

My lifestyle these last few months has been quite different from my gregarious, frenetic college career.  I'm no longer surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals, I don't have a few girlfriends in my room every evening, and distraught post-breakup souls don't knock on my door for a hug.  (Although they still do call for advice sometimes.)  I don't bounce from class, to running a club meeting, to counselling a friend, to editing someone's paper.

The status quo of my life is solitude, enforced by distance from family and old friends.  A normal evening is spent between cleaning the apartment, cooking, and working on freelance projects at my desk.  My weekends usually involve grocery shopping, singing in the parish choir, testing new recipes in the kitchen, and curling up on the sofa with a book or movie.  Every now and then, I'll volunteer at my parish or be invited to a get-together at a new friend's house.

While I'm still a choleric-sanguine, ESFJ/ESTJ, driven, confident personality, this new single and independent lifestyle has brought some interesting changes to my notice.  Now, I have learned to value a quiet evening for the rejuvenation it brings, but I value the opportunity to mingle with new people or meet up for coffee.  I've become more of an introvert; I quickly get tired of adapting to a different personality, and sometimes have to force myself to try and make new friends.  And I'm utterly incapable of staying up until midnight every night and still functioning the next day.

Without the buffer of family and friendship, I've discovered just how much I don't know, and of how many things I'm not capable!  Things like keeping the car registration in the glovebox and getting the oil changed are practically beyond me, and I've learned humility the hard way in new social situations.

Happily, I've learned to find pleasure in self-reliance, and rather enjoy indulging in an adventure just for the heck of it (witness the High Kings concert my roommate and I are attending in a few weeks.)  My fear of driving is finally gone, to the point where a 4-5 hour weekend road trip hardly fazes me.  Having more free space and time, I've rediscovered tastes and talents like sewing and baking.  I can take myself to the movies on my own schedule.  Prayer is easier now that I have the freedom to structure my day and set time aside for the Divine Office.

Slowly, I'm learning to value my time and solitude.  This lifestyle won't last forever, but I can use it as a stepping stone for the future if I make it fruitful now.  These new challenges for my character and personality give me new insights not just into who I am, but into who God wants me to be.