Hello, my name is Pauline Baird Jones and I follow the Way of the Hermit. No, I wasn’t a cross-dressing member of Herman’s Hermits, though there was a time when I really dug their sound. But I don’t sing all that well, can’t play guitar and I don’t like crowds, so I can’t follow the way of Herman’s Hermits, just the Way of the Hermit.No, that’s not me on the end. I was ten when this picture was taken.
A hard core hermit is someone who lives apart from society. Obviously, I can’t live apart from society, nor would I like to, cause I’m not hard core. And I’m not a misanthrope, because I like people. I’m more of an introverted light core, hermit. I used to think that meant I was shy, but it actually means I get drained if I can’t get a break from people pretty periodically. That draining factor is what drives me to follow the Way of the Hermit, even if I don’t live like one. I need better plumbing than you get in a hut.This is a map to where I don’t live.
Right now you might be wondering, how is the Way of the Hermit different from being a hermit–other than the not living in an isolated, plumbling-less hut? I’ve been mulling that one myself. The Way of the Hermit has definitely evolved over time as I’ve refined my personal boundaries. Here are some things I’ve noticed while following the Way of the Hermit:
- Hermits (or is it just me?) have a large personal space. We/I can invite someone closer, but don’t like being invaded, particularly by energy sucking extroverts. (Did that sound harsh? Wasn’t meant to be harsh. I like many extroverts.) I found this interesting article called “Caring for Your Introvert” and I highly recommend it for those who are hermits/introverts and/or for those who live with one or more hermits/introverts.
- Hermits/introverts particularly love being “cared for” by being left alone when they need to be left alone. They/we don’t need to be left alone all the time, but there are signs when we/they need alone time. (I can’t speak for everyone, but I start to snarl and sometimes flames shoot out of the top of my head. And sometimes out of my eyes. This also happens when I’m hungry, though the flames are somewhat less high/long for hunger. Apparently this gives the hubs problems, despite 37 years of marriage. Go figure.)
- Any gathering bigger than me and one other person is a crowd (unless everyone is family or friends, though not too many of them all at once).
- Any gathering bigger than me can also be a crowd if flames are shooting out of my head. It is critical level serious if my eye begins to twitch.
- Airplanes are torture (and not just because of the unlawful strip search, though that doesn’t help) unless I have my own row. Then they are merely painful.
- Talking to strangers early in the morning (not a morning person either), when I’m hungry, or when I need to be alone, is also torture.
- Talking to strangers is sometimes fun until it isn’t. I get to decide when it isn’t. (I am polite enough not to mention it, however. Clear sign the fun is over is when flames and eye twitching occur.)
- Going shopping on any day with “Black” before it is torture. Don’t ask and I won’t say no. Ask and flames will shoot out of my head.
- Shopping online is sweet. I wish Amazon delivered groceries, too. Cause my Way of the Hermit requires chocolate, bacon and Diet Dr. Pepper for the flames not to shoot out of my head. Or out of eyes.
- Family or friends in need trump hermit every time. Cause even hermits like/love the peeps. We just need space, bubba.
If you’re not sure what you are (extrovert, introvert or somewhere between) Wikipedia is here to help. Because everyone knows Wikipedia entries are written by people with really strong opinions, and we’ve all seen that commercial about how everything on the internet is true, so there you go.
So how about it? Do you follow the Way of the Hermit? The Way of the Extrovert? Think either Way is bat crap crazy? Never believe anything just because? Remember Herman’s Hermits? What’s your favorite song of theirs?
Comments are entered into my monthly drawing for a $10 AnaBanana Gift card. AnaBanana has products for hermits and non-hermits, which is pretty far seeing on her part. Winner is announced the first blog post of each month.
While the Way of the Hermit can be kind of a bummer (because I’d like to see The Hobbit, but right now it is attracting crowds, so will need to wait until things thing out a bit) though it does work well for my writing. During my years as a hermit, I’ve managed to write some novels, short stories and non-fiction, which are available in print (for the most part), digital for sure, and now the novels and short stories are releasing in audio over the next month or so. If you like to read romantic action adventure or suspense, or to have the fun stuff read to you, I hope you’ll check them out on my website. They are also available at Amazon, B&N, and iTunes. And some other places. 🙂
Perilously (from her comfort zone),
by Pauline Baird Jones