Where have I been? Why, I’ve been here, there, and yonder! I’ve been working on my new novel. I’ve been editing other writers’ books and novels. I’ve been working on Edge of Arlington website. I was asked to be a regular contributor to Writer Unboxed (poor thangs – they don’t know what they did – I’m hillbilly’ing up they’s space; I’m dirty-footing up they’s respectable blog. Dang!). It’s an honor to write for such a prestigious group and I am grateful. My latest is: Grocery Store Glory (& Angst), (and earlier: A Writer’s Tombstone, Giving Up & Giving In, and as an earlier guest: The Isolated Author).
As well, from November through January, Lil Bear and I traveled by plane to Oregon and stayed 6 whole weeks! Wow! And from there we flew to Arlington, Texas, where we visited a bit, before I rented a Nissan Rogue and drove back to my mountains. It was so danged good to be home but I’m glad I traveled through the holidays instead of . . . being *gasp* ALONE FOR THE HOLIDAYS! That’s not my emphasis, since it wouldn’t have bothered me to be alone for the holidays. I do have friends. I do get out. I’m not completely reclusive. *laugh*
How appropriate that I rented a Nissan Rogue—for that’s often how I feel. As if I am a Rogue Planet, spiraled out and beyond away from the Mother Star of its birth, away from other planets, away from the security of that comforting planetary orbit. Wandering through space and time—that word again: Alone.
From Phenomena A SCIENCE SALON: “Rogue planets are homeless worlds. They have neither sunrises nor sunsets, because unlike the planets we’re more familiar with, these lonely worlds aren’t tethered to a star. Instead, they travel in solitary arcs around the Milky Way’s core. Earlier this week, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, introduced many of its viewers to the concept of these lonely planets. ‘The galaxy has billions of them, adrift in perpetual night. They’re orphans, cast away from their mother stars during the chaotic birth of their native solar systems,’ Neil DeGrasse Tyson says, as a planet emerges from the darkness. ‘Rogue planets are molten at the core, but frozen at the surface. There may be oceans of liquid water in the zone between those extremes. Who knows what might be swimming there?’”
How bleak and sad that sounds. Yet, yes, who knows what might be swimming in there? And until there is someone who wants to find out what is swimming inside of me, who sees my inner self and not just “this body” and who is not afraid of the challenge of someone who is “like me” (for I will never be boring), who can see that I am molten at my core but may sometimes seem to be frozen at the surface, who is kind and trustworthy, a grownup and not a little boy, but please believe me when I say: not perfect for I don’t trust perfection (in looks or manner/personality)—then I prefer to be Alone. Not only prefer it, but desire it, want it, embrace it. It suits me. For even if I find that person or that person finds me, I am not so sure I want to give up my freedom. Perhaps they will feel the same way: yay!
Scientists have discovered many of these rogue planets—some as big as Jupiter. Wandering through space, seemingly lost and without anchor. But who is to say those planets aren’t happy drifting languidly through space? Going where they want when they want. Doing what they want when they want.
I have come to the conclusion that not everyone is meant to be partnered up. Not everyone wants, or likes, or is good at, marriage or some equivalent to that. The freedom to do exactly as you wish without having to consult with anyone else. To arrange and decorate your space however you want to without having to consult with anyone else. Eat, drink, sleep, watch tv—everything without having to consult with anyone else. Not to be taken for granted, or to take for granted. No drama.
The thing is, y’all: I find I am consistently happier and light-hearted when I am not partnered up. I sleep better. I eat better. I feel better. I am better.
Does this mean, as a Rogue Planet, that I am not often lonely? Nope. Because I am often lonely. Sometimes acutely so. But being lonely doesn’t mean I want to go out and find someone to fill in some space, to anchor me to their solar system, to have me orbit around their star. I feel I’m suffocating just writing that!
You must sit back and figure out who you are. What you want. How you want it. Then you accept it. Perhaps what you’ve been doing isn’t working but you keep doing it because you think you’ll force it to work for you, or it’s what everyone else does or wants. Maybe it’s time to consider something else.
What makes you happy? If you require/need to be a part of other orbiting planets anchored to a Mother Star, then that is what you should do. However, if like me, you are discovering how much happier and more relaxed and . . . sane! . . . you are being a Rogue Planet, then what is wrong with that?
Being a Rogue Planet doesn’t mean you don’t interact with people. It doesn’t mean you don’t date. It doesn’t mean you don’t have the company of the opposite sex or the same sex—have sex, fun, food, laughter, conversation. It means you are perfectly happy being Rogue. If you have someone over, they go home and leave you alone. If you are somewhere, you go home: alone.
Say that word aloud: Alone. I am Alone. I am Alone. I am Alone. Say it, write it, until it no longer feels scary to you. It is not a terrible word. It is not a shameful word. It is not an end to the world.
You are capable of more than you think you are, too, as an Alone Rogue Planet. I have paid my bills and mortgage completely on my freelance editing work, my website work, and my books (and believe me, royalties are not a good source of income)—alone. Has it been easy? No. And I’m often afraid I’ll lose everything—but just because you are part of a couple doesn’t mean you don’t also fear these things! I just work harder, and keep my head up and my vision forward.
I’ve repaired things in my Lil Log House and car just by trying. If I fail, then I will call someone. I can shovel 12 feet of snow by myself, no problem—in fact, I enjoy it. I can haul up firewood. I can prepare my own meals: whatever I want, even if it’s a carton of soup and a peanut butter sandwich. My Lil Log House is a reflection of me and no one else—familiar, cozy, comfortable: mine. I can briefly share it with those who enter through its front door, and then when they go out of that front door and I close it tight, it is my own sanctuary.
If what makes you happy doesn’t “fit” with how society considers is normal or traditional, or with what you thought worked for you because that’s how your parents did it, or is something different from what you’ve believed or told yourself should be “right,” there is absolutely nothing wrong with spiraling out and becoming a beautiful Rogue Planet. For as long as you want: forever, or not forever. Why define it?
If you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my Amazon Page. I appreciate your support!