iTunes search: “alone.” Twenty-one songs. My favorites – “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tiffany, “You are not Alone” by Michael Jackson, and the anthem “Alone” by Heart. Also “Jingle Bell Rock,” because it’s from the Home Alone soundtrack. If you can’t passionately lip-sync in your kitchen, still in your pajamas (but a scarf!) at noon thirty on a Saturday to those tunes…I just don’t know.
A hundred years ago, when I decided to move with then-boyfriend to wherever he got into grad school, I thought about how I might make friends, what I would do with my time while he was working/in school/studying. I thought it would be easy; I smile a lot, I’m approachable (I think) and I pictured people knocking on my door, asking to be friends.
But at thirty years old, how do you make friends?
It’s easy make friends in school – you are forced into relationships via classes, clubs, sports. Well, I don’t have those right now. Maybe with new roommates? my roomie…I appreciate a lot of things about him, and sometimes we drink wine and talk about nothing late at night. But he loves his cat, and the cat is trying to kill me, so…we’re not soul mates. I’m not texting him to go to the movies.
Even when I was still in California, it seemed most people my age were married and having kids, making friends at Mommy and Me things, or church, or their kids’ sports’ teams. Friendships start revolving around your kids. I don’t have kids.
I think it would be fun to have one, but right now I like sleeping and not being married more.
You can make friends at work, which I started three weeks ago. There are potential candidates. One girl hugged me last night because I hadn’t seen her in two weeks, and I didn’t realize how much I needed a hug until then. I miss hugs.
But right now, sitting in the kitchen, second cuppa tea, a whole day of nothing ahead of me…I’m realizing that at some point, once I was past the bone-crushing depression of September and October, I learned to like being alone.
Being alone has almost always been a fear of mine. Who’s going to pay attention to me if I’m by myself? What if something bad happens? Who will help me? What’s that noise?! I’ve almost stopped asking myself those questions. I’ve gotten better about just reading a book or dating the internet, without wishing someone would call or come over and distract me from myself. I’ve gone out to eat alone, hiked miles and miles alone, been to the movies alone. I shop alone, cook dinner alone, build raging and semi-dangerous fires without starter logs. Alone. But not really lonely.
And it’s nice. I wear whatever I want, eat and drink what and when I want, with no worries. I have no one to compare myself to. On the other hand, I have no one to motivate me, challenge me, or snuggle up in bed to watch Christmas movies all night. But I’m getting used to it and no longer feel like a failure. I think this time has been about learning to be alone long enough to know myself better, which is important, since I’ll always be with me. And to get a little tougher when the going gets rough.
“I never really understood the word ‘loneliness’. As far as I was concerned, I was in an orgy with the sky and the ocean, and with nature.”
As long as I have human interaction at work with my pre-friends and the customers at the table, my life will balance out and I will be okay. Waiting tables and working with so many guys has reactivated my flirting muscles. It’s fun to tease and laugh and roll my eyes when the dishwasher says “Hey, Hush Puppies – I told my moms about you.”
This could all come crashing down when I wake up alone on Christmas morning and realize there is no tree, no presents, no special breakfast, no matching pajamas with mom and sisters, no mimosas at 7am because even though we are all adults, we couldn’t wait any longer to get into our stockings.
And maybe writing this has more to do with convincing myself than convincing anyone else that I’m doing alright!
Alright. Off to hike. Removing “alone” songs from playlist. Switch to…something happyfeels.
I’m thinking 90s. They were good to me.
Omgee “The Bodyguard” soundtrack just rotated up. Winning.