How do we feel about being alone? Love it? Hate it? Introvert? Extrovert?
I’m sitting at a bar by myself listening to a local band I love. I am alone. I had a meal. I had drinks. I chatted briefly with a neighbor before she joined a friend. But I am alone in my enjoyment of the music.
This isn’t new. I do this on the regular. I’ve never had much of a social life as an adult living in Idaho. I was “just a mom” for a long time. I went to work and came home. Since my divorce and as the boys have gotten older I’ve tried to develop a social life, through dating or friends. Some of those times have been better than others. I have GREAT friends but they all have tighter friends, and my BEST friends are in other states and, well, that leaves me at a bar on Saturday night alone.
I don’t have a boyfriend. If you read my previous blog you know I have a “friend.” But my friend doesn’t want me, not in this way, and he’s curmudgeonly and would never go see live music with me at the bar.
Sidebar: wtf am I doing with this dude? Why am I allowing him this? I don’t know. But it’s only in the absence of something I miss that actually makes me feel lonely. Lonely is not the same as alone.
I am an introvert. I can only stand people and talking for so long. But I love talking with people I love; my little circle of trust. Where are my heart-string-pulling loves? They are away, all far away.
And now the band plays, “how I wish, how I wish you were here. We’re just two lost souls living in a fishbowl year after year …”
Ahhh … how I wish you were here. To hold my hand and sing along with the music with me. To thrill over it with me, and rub my back in rhythm with the music. Oh, mythical partner, how I wish you were here.
I feel unloveable a lot. It sounds pitiful to say, I know. I don’t mean it that way. I know I have value. But I don’t know if my value is in being a loving partner. I don’t know if anybody would fall in love with me again. I feel like the only people who can love me are those who loved me when I was young, fearless, and effervescent. (Was I effervescent? I hope so).
Anyway, though, I only say that to say this: I’m becoming so comfortable being alone I don’t know if I could meld my life with someone else’s at this point. Just over the last 4 years of living alone I’ve become comfortable in my new norm.
Being alone is okay. It’s do-able. It’s not the dream but it’s the reality, and it’s not horrific. I can control the remote, cook what I want, and be naked when I want. (Except that part isn’t as fun alone. Just sayin’).
I was reading this article on strong, independent women and how they value being alone. Here are some quotes:
“Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.” — Wild, March 2012
“It’s not just O.K. to be single for both men and women — it’s wonderful to be single, and society needs to embrace singlehood in all its splendiferous, solitary glory. Next time you see a single woman, instead of asking her where her boyfriend, husband or eunuch is, congratulate her on her accomplished sense of self and for reaching the solitary mountaintop by herself without a ring on her finger weighing her down like a male paperweight. Without single women and their impressive sense of self, we’d be without Queen Elizabeth I, Marie-Sophie Germain, Susan B. Anthony, Florence Nightingale, Jane Austen, Harper Lee, Diane Keaton, Greta Garbo, Jane Goodall and me, myself and I. Being single is delightfully more than it’s cracked up to be … if you can stand the horror of your own company, that is.” — Time, May 2016
I’m alone, and that’s okay. I like it most of the time. I’d like it better if I knew it wasn’t endless though.
Listen to this bit of sublimeness, will you?Brandi Carlile, Looking Out
To all my lonely Saturday night girls, I love you and you’re not alone, you sweet little hearts.