Living life as an introvert has created unique challenges in my life. Throughout life I have pushed away family, friends and colleagues during times of stress longing for solitary. It’s not that I hate people I just prefer being around my small group of friends and family. Gail Godwin’s “A Sorrowful Woman” is reflective to me in that it revolves around a mother who retreats from her family to that of a life of solitary within her own home. I felt that I was able to connect with A Sorrowful Woman because I struggle in similar ways within my own life. I am constantly in a battle with wanting to be alone and wishing to admire and be with the amazing individuals that make up my life.
After returning to Calhoun to continue my education my parents were gracious enough to ask me to move back in to save money. While I gladly accepted their offer, I would find myself retreating to my room after a long day of class or work. Like the mother in the story I would find myself sick of having to go about a daily routine, telling my parents and brothers how my day went and sitting at the dinner table with them sharing their stories of daily events. My three younger brothers are amazing individuals in their own rights. Jonny is an accomplished welder, Brandon and Ryan are software developers like me working for companies of great prestige.
Brandon however suffers from a similar aliment, he too wishes to be alone most of the time. Him and I share that connection and can relate our experiences to one another better than our other brothers. Jonny and Ryan like the father and son are very outgoing have many friends and like to interact with the world around them. While considering I have a close relationship with Jonny and Ryan it is their differences in wanting friends over that makes it difficult to spend time with them. Introverts don’t do well in the company of strangers and Ryan being ten years younger we don’t share any friends. Jonny and I being two years apart in age however do share a few friends but the ones we share now live over a thousand miles away from us.
Like the mother as time went on she pulled further and further from her family into her room wishing to not see her husband and son any longer. I too found myself coming in later after work and school, so I could avoid my family even further. During the days I had off from class or work I would lock myself away and either focus on my studies or play games by myself on my computer. “She stocked the little room with cigarettes, books, bread, and cheese. She didn’t need much.” (40) I too would store snacks and drinks in my room that would last weeks at a time, only coming out to leave for school, work, or to refill my supplies. Like the passage, “Things were much changed. Books were rearranged, toys. He’d done some new drawings. She came as a visitor to her son’s room.” (40) I too had become a stranger in my own home. My parents had put out decorations that had gone unnoticed, my brothers had added new additions to their gaming area. “What has happened to me, I’m not myself anymore.” (39) I too thought what is wrong with me that I didn’t want to be around the family that loved me dearly. I was longing finally to spend time to those closest to me.
As time went on my day to day life was becoming stagnant, dreary, lonesome. Though I wished to be alone I was missing something in my life. I had once been happy secluding myself in my own room, but things were changing in my personality and demeanor. As I was nearing graduation I was welcoming the idea to involve myself with my family and friends that I had abandoned, but would they forgive me and accept me back into their lives. After carful though I was determined to try. They welcomed me back with open arms and included me again into their daily routines.
My parents were warm and loving as I had once known them they were excited for me to take the next course in my life. My brothers were happy that I had wanted to spend time with them again. Unlike in the story where the mother had passed away before she had the chance to truly reunited with her family, I had recovered. I was reconnecting with friends I had once lost and developing new friendships along the way. I was preparing to move into my own apartment at this time as well but determined to not loose the progress that I had worked to obtain. While living on my own I made it a daily routine to call my parents and brothers and a weekly goal to spend time with them.
“A Sorrowful Woman” came close to me in the experiences that I have lived. However, unlike the mother I was able completely to break free of the sickness that overwhelmed me. No longer tired of my family and wishing to spend time with them to make up for what was lost. During this new-found life I am making for myself I now have a wonderful new career and a loving family that I can call upon in times of need. I now find myself looking for joy in the world rather than hiding from it. I wish not to die alone like the mother instead I wish to live in the world around me with those closest to me again.
- Goodwin, Gail. A Sorrowful Woman. Meyer, Michael. Literature to Go, 3rd Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017. 38-42 Print.