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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Intellectual Loneliness

     Today has been a day. You know, the kind where you really only want to drink yourself into oblivion, and it isn't even 10 o'clock yet. So I sit here, beer bottle of water in hand (no, not sarcasm about beer quality - actual water - story for another day), and I know why it is many, many women don't want to be stay at home moms, and it really doesn't have anything to do with selfish, career driven ambitions. It's because of the loneliness. Now, I'm going to make some general assertions about people, knowing full well that, as such, they do not apply to everyone. 
     In general, women are extremely social. They just need to be able to talk and connect with people. I never really knew just how much I need to do such, until I became the stay at home mom who didn't have access to a car everyday. And now, it seems, I am going out of my mind, for lack of meaningful conversation. Yes, having José around helps some, and really, he is quite a good talker, but it leaves something to be desired as far as quality of content goes. Yes, Code Monkey does provide rather good conversation, but he's gone most of the day. I guess that is what I really miss about being back home. Especially after being blessed to spend a year there between college and marriage, since we were all of an age where actual, good conversation could be held. I miss the connection to people I knew, and who also knew me. 
     I am becoming more and more convinced, that our current living situations as first world people are, well, artificial. And isolating. And suffocating. It is no wonder that social media sites are so wildly popular. Most days they are our only connection to people who give coherent responses and help us feel heard in the doldrums of a normal day. I understand how it is many women can come to the conclusion that they could never quit work to stay home with their kids, because it is mind numbing, the loneliness. The days full of complete and utter boredom and inability to get anything which feels meaningful and productive done. It is so hard to see, through glaze eyes, just how important doing seemingly nothing really is. 

4 comments:

  1. I hear you, 100%. To make things worse, I can't even make a phone call because I can't take more noise. And play dates are scarce when I have no car. The internet is it, and every time someone says "get off facebook and have some REAL interaction" I get stabby. For some of us it's all we get.

    When I think of my mother dealing with all this when I was a toddler, living far from family due to the military, with no internet either, I can easily understand why she was so depressed! I'm thankful every day for the internet. However, what I'd really love is to live on the same block with all my friends so we could hang out whenever we wanted. It's just so hard.

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  2. "I am becoming more and more convinced, that our current living situations as first world people are, well, artificial. And isolating. And suffocating. It is no wonder that social media sites are so wildly popular."
    -- Great quote!

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  3. That's a quote I'm going to collect.
    Yes, I am a man but I completely agree with you. I would like to have a wife who stays at home, keeps a home beautiful, and raises children, however, I agree she will lack social companionship the way the modern world is arranged. It was more feasible when things were arranged in proper order where woman who stayed at home had companionship and community involvement. In fact, I grew up in India for the first ten years of my life and the house was always bustling. It was full of women talking in the kitchen (joint-home, past generations, extended family close-by, close neighbors visiting) and visitors all the time. This is going to disappear there too with the hegemony of modernism.
    I actually landed on your site by doing a google search for intellectual loneliness and I was surprised to find a catholic site. I am intellectually lonely because I am an intellectual (if i say so myself). I find the vast majority of people vacuous and with no intellectual curiosity. No desire to learn or explore ideas. No desire for any sort of objective conversation other then gossip, fashion, sports, and trivial things. And I move among the professional class as I am a psychiatrist by trade. Also, the people who have some intellectual curiosity become misguided and follow the groupthink of the so called intelligent crowd. They endorse all the liberal nonsense that the media and society imposes on us. To meet a thinking intelligent person who sees things through the eyes of God seems to be rarer then a white elephant. To prove the expression, never less alone then when alone. They say all great minds seek solitude because of the vulgar and intellectually impoverished nature of the great majority of humanity. I would love to have good company but rather be alone with great minds (books that is) then most people's superficial conversation. Yes, some level of fun and connecting conversation is necessary, but it seems like that is all most people have to offer.

    Anyway, another great blog is thinkinghousewife.com and I will give a memorable quote about domestic life from her:

    "People say the domestic life is narrow and stultifying, a prison for the intellect. Feminists have long made this claim.
    I guess you could say that’s true, but only if you think human history is boring, the laws of nature are boring, love is boring, birth is boring, children are boring, personality is boring, the mind is boring, morality is boring, death is boring, male and female are boring, sex is boring, illness is boring, kisses are boring, prayers are boring, literature is boring, philosophy is boring, poetry is boring, God is boring, the seasons are boring, music is boring, trees are boring, sunlight is boring, the stars are boring, snow is boring, dew is boring. If all this is true, the home is not what it appears: a fount of ideas and truths, a university and a museum, a laboratory for the curious, a gallery of all that is human. If the home is boring, life itself is a desert."

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    Replies
    1. Utlramontane,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I'm sorry it took me so long to reply. Especially considering your comment was something I needed to read when you left it. Particularly your chosen quote from the Thinking Housewife.

      Though it is particularly difficult to remember that these things, which are so much a part of plain ole daily life, are exciting. I seem to have lost much of the imagination of my youth.

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