The curse of living alone is that you’re just that. Alone.
Note, I didn’t say lonely. As anyone who’s been by their bad self for a while, we’re not really a people who get lonely. If we did, we’d have partnered up a long time ago with one of the more charming people we’ve met along life’s pathways. Which isn’t to say that we don’t want to be partnered – this blog is evidence of that alone. (my god have I tried)
Last night I spent a lovely few hours chatting with a friend over some wine. She mentioned with a husband out of town she ‘got a taste’ of what it was like to be a singleton when she was invited out with a few married couples.
‘It felt weird so I didn’t go……’
‘.. you know… being the only single person’
I get it. To those who’ve been partnered happily for a while, the idea of going places as a lone reed in a marsh of married folks is strange, lonely, uncomfortable even. But for those of us who don’t have that security blanket, we grow thicker skin and have get on with it. We often prefer it. (except during flu and snowstorms… and if there’s a really scary spider in the bath). If we waited to be partnered in order to leave the house we’d all have melded to the sofa and have to be airlifted out of our houses by our match.com dates.
Nope, being alone isn’t lonely. But you are alone.
Which during times of acute stress can be the most isolating feeling in the world. You don’t have that person to unwind with, that sensitive ear to unload into, that ability to unburden to the person sharing your bed. Unloading whats going on in your head allows you to create space in your brain, which leaves room for perspective, humor, even joy. And being alone means that to do that, you’re paying a therapist $100 an hour or upping your ATT wireless plan (and testing some very long term friends). You’re also being incredibly brave and trusting. Which is no small thing for life’s alone-rs.
I’m not sure if its the same for guys, after all, they’re not know for being the worlds best communicators, but I’m sure… sometimes… it has to be. And since guys don’t talk… what do they do?
If my neighbor is anything to go by, playing the bass guitar and chanting…if my ex was a benchmark, riding 100 miles seemed to do the trick. And for most guys, I guess that’s ‘why‘ football.
(really, why else football???)
Being alone can cause you to wake up at 3am in a panic about something minor, because its been bouncing around your head for 2 weeks and you’ve not been able to get rid of it.
On the upside you can have a dinner of cereal and wine, on the downside… well cereal and wine.
Thankfully being alone has taught me one thing… you’re never actually alone.
People, friends, strangers, family, ex hook ups, that hinky guy from the apartment opposite… you are never alone. You can choose to be alone any time you wish.. but you can also choose not to shoulder everything in life alone. And this year I choose not too. Its only 3 weeks in but I’m not going it alone in everything anymore. You don’t get prizes for handling everything yourself and frankly, I can’t afford the Valium prescriptions any more. I might not be unburdening myself to a partner, but I will share when I need to and not feel any shame or embarrassment when I do so.
So, friends, readers, strangers, gird your loins. I’ve got some things on my mind and stories to tell.