Enforced Independence

Don’t you hate it when you pay someone a teasing compliment and they react in a completely different way from that you had expected?

That happened to me yesterday – I was the reactee rather than the complimenter. In a joking discussion about why I did not want to join in with church activity – it was said that I was ‘independent-minded.’ Unfortunately, and unintentionally on behalf of the speaker, that really rather made me sad. You see, a lot of the independent-mindedness comes from my current life situation. Mostly, that if I want to do something, I have to do it on my own. Holiday? Theatre trip? Breakfast in a nice cafe? Run? Who’s coming with me? Yes, sometimes I have company, but for a lot of the time I plan and carry out these things on my own (although I know, and I value, the friends I do spend time with). And this particular activity would have involved me standing on the sidelines being ignored by people – not my idea of fun.

It is not from choice that I spend so much free time in my own company. I have had to get used to making my own entertainment. It is not a compliment to have this necessary trait highlighted – it’s a bit like telling the blind person how well they can hear. I know – I am being over-sensitive again. Some people would, I am sure, be envious of my solo travel. I have absolutely no qualms about eating in a restaurant, watching a film or a performance on my own, and as for being in church on my own, well, I’m very used to that.

But, you know, this week I have had a lot of time to think and reflect on life, faith, general bewilderment and how much I trust Him Upstairs in all this (if I am brutally honest – it’s about 5% trust, 55% bewilderment and 40% resentment). I’m stuck, having painted myself into a corner; hemmed in by work, PhD, commitments – and I don’t quite know what to do next.


  1. It strikes me that some people are quite ignorant of the status of those who are single. They seem to envy it from the freedom of their own relationship, while knowing that they have someone to go home to, to share and to love.

    Hoping that God willing, you will find what you are seeking, in terms of God and relationships.

  2. Having a long hard think about how to comment on this. Think I’ll leave it until Thursday lunch-time and see if it’s possible to find a way out of the corner, and reduce the resentment/bewilderment a bit. Maybe not filling the space in your soul with trust but possibly acceptance.

  3. Should I laugh or should I cry? Yep, we just need to get on with life and sometimes, well often, that means doing stuff on our own…

    • Oh laugh, laugh, please do! I would only want to make people giggle at the preposterousness of this life.

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