I spend a lot of time alone. I don't have co-workers. I operate independently the vast majority of the time.
It's not the best way to operate. I've undoubtedly endured more discomfort than necessary as a result of this. I've put myself in tough spots because I'm reluctant to rely on others.
I've always been this way. I've become even less inclined to lean on others in the past decade since I've been rolling solo. Being fiercely independent is standard operating procedure.
Some might say I've got trust issues. Maybe I do. Whether I do or not, this is not the whole story.
While my job requires me to be Mr. Congeniality, this persona is only a part of who I am. I love my alone time. I love doing my own thing.
It's always been this way. I loved losing myself for hours in a book when I was a kid. I'd kill countless afternoons in the backyard imagining myself living off the land and fending for myself.
I played team sports, but I rarely enjoyed them. I attended parties, but never really felt comfortable at them. Spending time around people not infrequently stressed me out.
It was during my alone time that I would recharge. I'd recover. I'd lose myself in my own world.
Age has softened me a bit. I'm more comfortable around others than I used to be. I enjoy the company of others more than I once did.
But, the lone wolf is still there. He growls when his style is cramped. His hackles stand up when he needs room.
When the lone wolf is baying, I know it's time to create some space. There is only one thing to do. I take him for a run.
His snarl fades. The fangs retract. His tongue lolls and the hint of a grin emerges on his face.
We roll on in search of solitude. It doesn't take long before it's just the two of us. No one can keep up with us. No one can catch us.
The trail meanders further. We run deep into the woods. We leave it all behind.
It is deep in the woods miles away that we find what we're looking for. No one's here. This trail is ours, at least for now.
I pat his head and smooth his coat. We have to head back soon, but we'll linger a bit longer. He sighs loudly at peace in the solitude of the woods.
I run because I am a lone wolf...