Lonely and Alone

When you’re single, you do a lot of things by yourself. For example, I go to see movies alone, I take road trips by myself, I go to bed at night without someone else. You get so used to doing things by yourself, that you sometimes forget that not everyone else does. I’m a perpetual third wheel whenever I hang out with friends, and I’m forever getting the “when are you going to get out there and meet someone” questions. I’ve learned to deflect and ignore those questions when they come up, but last week was a bad time. On top of being a hormonal mess (thanks, period), by brain decided to send my emotions into hyper drive. I spent a lot of last week crying, and suddenly my being alone felt like a really horrible thing.

When I picture my future, I see it alone. I have a four year plan (because it’s going to take me that long to save any significant amount of money), and when I see myself buying a house, I’ve never considered the notion that I will have to share that space with someone else. I look at houses online that I will never be able to afford, but I sit there and think “yes, that could be my sewing room, and that will be my guest room, and that will be where I hold elegant dinner parties for all my friends.” Ok, so maybe not that last one, but I do think about the life I want to have, and it never includes another person.

But last week, my emotional state of mind meant that I was sitting there, crying over one thing or another, because everything seemed to set me off (seriously, it was a very wet week). Amidst all the tears and negative thoughts that brought them on, I wondered for the first time in a long time, if perhaps I should try and meet someone. Because maybe coming home to someone, and cooking with someone, and getting into bed next to someone at night, isn’t the worst thing in the entire world. I didn’t go so far as to sign up to Tinder, but I did spend a fair bit of time wondering about the appropriateness of wearing a sign declaring my single status, and the phrase “girlfriend wanted, enquire within”.

My emotional state has calmed down significantly in the last few days. I was able to clear my head, and brush away the last of the negative thoughts that plagued me last week. Much like the way you sweep the floor during a spring clean, I purged all of the malicious, insidious thoughts from my mind and now I’m back to my normal, contentedly single, people hating self. But the thing I need to remember going forward, is that even the most content single people feel lonely sometimes too. There’s nothing wrong with me for occasionally craving human connection. Actually, I think most people would agree that it is actually perfectly normal. Ah well, so I’m the weird one, what else is new?

The Altered Reality of Hospitals

Hospital waiting rooms are like small universes of their own. Everything seems slightly removed from reality, like the real world is there, just slightly beyond the veil. When you look around, there are people being supported and comforted by their loved ones. Each all in the same situation, each suspended in an endless moment, each waiting for something to happen. It’s a strange thing, sitting in a waiting room alone, surrounded by groups of strangers. When you spend so long doing things on your own, you sometimes forget that not everyone works by the same solitary rules.

When people get fired from their jobs, they take ‘support people’. When people go into hospital for admission, they bring along someone to be there for them. When people travel, the go in groups, or with friends. But not all people.

Humans are companionable by nature. There is an inherent, unexplained need in us to be with others; to interact, to seek comfort, to feel less alone. But being alone can become a way of life, so ingrained that it becomes almost impossible to comprehend the idea of other people coming into that singular, solitary circle. Sometimes, asking for help is too hard, because you become so used to relying on yourself, that you forget to trust others. Sometimes, you consider trying to break that habit but you get too scared, and really, isn’t everything easier on your own anyway? And sometimes, you end up crying silently in a hospital bed, because you realise that it’s not always easier, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Hospitals are weird, man. It’s that whole altered reality thing that brings secret things into sharp, scary focus. Or maybe it’s all that too bright lighting, and clinical atmosphere that changes things. There’s the lost time, when you’re present in body, but not in mind, and you’re poked and prodded and exposed to strangers in lab coats. There’s the knowledge that hospitals are a place you go to be healed in some way, but the fact that the healing is a by product of the pain that gets inflicted to treat The Thing you’re there for. Whatever it is, there’s something about those places that just creeps me out. And it’s one of the few times when doing things on your own can be the greater of two evils.

On Loneliness, Change, and the Possibility of Relationships

Do you guys remember my one hour friend? He was a laptop technician who came to repair my laptop late last year, and he had something of an impact on me. Anyway, as I was walking back from the bank this morning, I was pondering my single life, and the notion of dating someone for the first time in over four years. To be honest with you, I’ve been a bit hesitant to admit that for the first time since my ex and I broke up way back in 2012 (I just did the math, and it’s been longer than I thought…!), I’m considering putting myself out there and trying to meet people. Now, as you may have gathered from yesterday’s post, I want to meet people in general. But in this case, I am looking to meet a person. Like…a person to be my person. Y’know?

So, back to the laptop guy. When he was fixing my laptop, we had a pretty great conversation. Over the course of the conversation, we go onto the subject of kids, and how I said I didn’t want any, and how people always tell me I will change my mind. And he said something to me that kind of just…resonated with me. I can’t remember his exact words, but he essentially said that it’s ok to change your mind. There was no judgement about it, and he wasn’t telling me that I would change my mind on the kid issue, just that it was ok if I ever did. It was as simple as that, and yet it kind of stuck around in the back of my mind. And this morning while I was doing my wandering and pondering, it popped back into my conscious mind again.

See, for so long I have been staunchly against the idea of being with someone. It’s never really worked out too well for me in the past, and I really do enjoy being on my own. And despite concerns from my dad, my buddy from back home, and a couple of other people I’ve discussed my serial singleness with, I insisted that I was better off that way.

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I am a real life Gregory House. Without the medical degree…or the penis.

But in recent months, I’ve been feeling a bit lonesome on my ownsome. I think a lot of that has to do with moving away from everything I’ve ever known and all that stuff I’ve already talked about before. The thing is, because I’ve been so vocal about being happy on my own for such a long time, I felt too ashamed to admit that things have changed. That now maybe I would like to meet someone. And that’s why those words about change popped back into my mind.

All I’m saying is, you have to allow for things to happen to people, but most of all to yourself. – Laura (High Fidelity)

See, it’s something I’m beginning to realise. I mean, really pay attention to. It’s ok to change, and more than that, it’s expected. So just because I’ve been single for the last four and a bit years, doesn’t mean I have to spend the rest of my life that way. And it’s ok for me to want and need something that up until now, I haven’t wanted or needed. I mean, can you imagine a world where nothing ever changed? Can you imagine how dull that would be? Change is normal and good and I have to allow it to happen. Otherwise I may very well get to old age and realise that I have allowed myself to become old and bitter and completely devoid of any positive emotion. Huh…I guess my dad was right all along.

I’m not really sure what I’ll do from here. For now, I think it’s enough to just admit that I’m going to open myself up to the possibility of a relationship. It’s like I said in a previous post; I’m going to stop holding myself back. And this is one of those things I am going to work on. Rad, single girls, where y’all at?

P.S. For real though, I am seriously never having children.

I Miss My Ghost

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I believe in the paranormal. It’s somewhat hard not to, when I spent pretty much my entire life living in a house inhabited by an entity of some description. Even after I moved out of home, I found myself living with something that knocked on the walls and would lightly tough my hand from time to time. Now the skeptics among you will find excuses for that, but having experienced these things myself, I can assure you that I know the difference between something spiritual and something corporeal, and what I had was most definitely a ghost.

The thing about being aware of a presence in your home, is that when it is no longer there, you feel the absence as acutely as you would feel the absence of a living house member. Since moving from my home town to the city, I have been decidedly ghostless. And it genuinely makes me a little sad. See, there was always something kind of reassuring about the presence of the ghost at dad’s. I heard the footsteps through the hall, and felt the breath on my cheek, and heard the muffled sound of a male voice when no one else was home so often, that it just became a part of my life. Like eating breakfast, or breathing. And when I was alone in my former little home, where I was never quite happy and always just a little lonely, there was something rather comforting about those light touches of the hand. It was like my ghost was there, and telling me “Hey buddy, it’s ok. I’m here.”

I have no ghost in this new house. I thought I might have at first…and then I realised that those noises were entirely too loud and frequent to be a ghost. No, instead of a comforting paranormal entity, what I am stuck with in this new house is an irritating, very alive possum. It lives in the walls, and most often sets up camp in the corner of my bedroom on the side of the bed I sleep on. So every morning, early in the morning, I get awakened by the shuffling, scratching, screeching beast. And it doesn’t. Shut. Up. Let me tell you, I would much prefer to be living with a ghost. I think perhaps that is part of why this house just doesn’t feel like home. I mean, my last house didn’t particularly feel like home either but I feel unsettled in this new place in a way I haven’t ever been before. Maybe this week I can win the lottery and buy my own house. And hell, maybe I can buy a companion ghost on the black market or something. A girl can dream, right?

 

Lonely People

All who are lonely need not be disheartened.
You are not alone.
We are, all of us, lonely too.

Not the happy people.
Not the content.
But the lost, and the left.

If we all came together, we the lonely
We would come to realise
That we are in good company.

And none of us should ever have to feel alone again. 

On Admitting That I Need a Person

Do you ever have a moment where you realise, despite how often you insist that you’re not, you’re actually just like everyone else? I had a moment like that last week. And I hated it.

I’m what I like to call fiercely independent. Or at least, I used to be. I thought I was happy being single, not being tied down. Relationships scare me because I suck at commitment and I’ve been content for so long not having a ‘person’ that it never occurred to me what I’m missing out on. Or that maybe, there is a part of me that does want a person, and I’ve just been too stubborn to admit it.

The need for someone else is something I’ve always found – with no small degree of snobbery, I confess – to be a weakness. What, you mean you actually want to spend a lot of time with another person? Lame. But recently I’ve come to realise that needing someone is only a weakness if you let it be. And that, actually, it’s just part of being human. We all crave the touch of another person, we love to be loved. Even the heartless among us (raises hand) who struggle with affection still need it in some degree. I think there’s an inherent need in all of us to be wanted, to be hungered for and desired. And, despite how much I tell myself that I’m an exception, I’m exactly like everyone else in that regard. I’m human. Damn it.

There is a difference, a huge difference, between being lonely and being alone. I spend a lot of my time around other people, so I enjoy being alone. But lately, by myself or otherwise, I’ve been lonely and it’s almost a physical ache. I know how that sounds, believe me. I feel weird just saying it. And even though there is a huge part of me that feels like I’m admitting defeat by saying this, I need a person. I came to the realisation that saying that doesn’t make me any less independent. It just means that, right now, I need someone’s arms around me. I need to curl up with someone. I need to feel someone’s skin against my own, not even for sex but just because. I don’t want to go home and sleep in a bed on my own, or wake up wishing for something that I don’t have.

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Last week, I realised that I need a person, and I hate that I want it as much as I do. I hate hating the fact that I’m lonely. I hate admitting that I’m like everyone else. Suddenly, the idea of a relationship doesn’t seem so unappealing. That comfortable intimacy I see in so many of my friend’s relationships now makes me a touch envious. I miss past Amy, the one who laughed in the face of commitment and secretly felt a little bit sorry for her friends that openly admitted to wanting a partner. Past me thought she was better than them, the relationship snob that she is. I bet she’d mock me now.

On Loneliness and Being Alone

I’m alone this week. I was alone last week and I’ll inevitably be alone for a few weeks more. You see, I live with my dad and he is working away for a while. He comes home on Fridays for the weekend but then he goes back. Thus, alone.

I first want to confirm that am ok with being alone. I’m not one of those people who can’t stand my own company, nor am I one of those people who is scared of being by myself. I mean, I’m a pretty rad dude so why would I not want to hang out with myself?! There’s nothing wrong with being on your own, and actually I quite like the fact that I have the house to myself. Not that I don’t love and miss my dad but its kind of like when I was young(er) and I stayed up super late to watch a movie after everyone else had gone to bed. There’s a kind of thrill to it…at least for a while!

Being comfortable with being along is why I am so content in being single. I’ve never felt the need to be tied down to another person (gosh, isn’t that a terrible way to look at it?), and have always been happy in the knowledge that I don’t need someone else to feel complete. I am perfectly complete as I am, thank you very much! But lately, I confess, though it pains me to admit, I wish (just a little) that I had a someone.

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on facebook lately from a certain friend. I love this friend dearly, and don’t begrudge her a thing. But her recent posts are all about how happy she is with her boyfriend and how in love they are and how their lives are going well. And whenever I see them lately, a tiny part of me is curled up in a ball sobbing because I am alone. You see, currently I am a girl and in pain and I am sick and sleep deprived and emotional, and all I want is to go to bed and have someone’s arms around me. Because hugging yourself doesn’t quite have the same effect, you understand.

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No, disturbingly toothy child, didn't you hear what I just said?

I hate the fact that I’m being such a girl about this. As someone who identifies as a strong and independent young woman (*snap snap* mmm hmmm!), I feel like this desire for human contact is a folly. Especially considering how I actually hate people and am not usually this needy. I am so agressively single – which is to say that I actually kind of revel in my independence – that the idea of needing someone else for comfort makes me feel a little…weak. I feel this way, despite the fact that I KNOW needing someone isn’t a weakness. It’s part of being human.

This will pass, naturally. It’s not so much a result of loneliness (because loneliness and being alone are two different things, and I am the latter, not the former) as it is my body’s current state of pain and sickness messing with my reasonable brain. Plus, it’s perfectly normal to feel like this sometimes anyway. But knowing that doesn’t really help how I feel at the moment. Damn this being a woman business. I’m chucking it in and becoming a man. Men don’t have emotions, right? *wink*