Tribes seem to be the thing these days. Much has been written on how to identify, join or cultivate your tribe.
This poses something of a conundrum for the aloners amongst us. Is it possible to belong to a group of people who want to be alone? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Could such a group exist?
It could, although it’s unlikely to use Meetup to organise a weekly get together, or hold an annual conference in Vegas. (I may be proved wrong on all points).
It’s more likely to be virtual rather than physical, but tribes seem to be more about ideas and ideals in common than spatial proximity.
Books and blogs on living alone by choice, and doing it well – living a full life, however you define that – are a way to bond with like-minded spirits, without needing to actually get together.
It still surprises me that there is a market for so many books on living alone. No doubt some of the readership is vicariously experiencing something they have no intention of trying first hand, but equally there are enough people writing of their experience to suggest a critical mass of people who DO live alone and find satisfaction in it.
For aloners, this is about as much togetherness as needed. Knowing there are others out there who live alone and who find ways to live rich and satisfying lives, or for whom it answers a deep need in their soul, is all I need to know. Knowing that I’m not alone in wanting to be alone is reassuring.
I may never meet these fellow aloners, or talk to them or know their real names, but they are nonetheless my tribe. They are the people who through their words let me know that I do belong, even if it’s only to a group that doesn’t really exist. We’re all alone, and there’s solidarity in that.