Thursday, July 19, 2012

on living alone

there was a time, not too long ago (hello bali) that the mere thought of being along quite literally bought me to tears.

these days, i relish in my solitude. perhaps that’s because i’m at home now and have the choice

it’s been a long time coming, but now that i have my space, i feel like i’m on the other side – the other side of sadness.

enjoying my solitude is not the only change.  i’ve noticed subtle, but momentous changes in myself lately.

despite my love of being alone, i cherish interaction. and i get that interaction from a multitude of new places now days. on saturday morning I spent fifteen minutes chatting to the jw’s. i have zero interest in their religion, but i have great interest in these two people who choose to spend their saturday mornings spreading the word. don’t confuse this for loneliness, it’s the complete opposite. before i screened my calls – if i even answered them at all – now i don’t even look at the screen, that’s a big step. its magnitude, i suspect, only known to someone who has suffered depression.

i indulge in my writing and creating. i’m quite busy during the week but I always make time on the weekends to do something creative. i also make time to get outside for a big long walk, somewhere fun and interesting every weekend. and i volunteer.

along those lines, i’m better with my time management and have learnt to say no to things. i still need to improve my yes/no balance that’s for sure, but it’s greater than it was.  

i’m learning that it’s ok to be an introvert. people assume that something’s wrong when you’re alone and we praise extroverts who know how to handle themselves in a crowd, who have a big group of friends. but being an introvert doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with me, it doesn’t mean that i don’t enjoy spending time with my friends or going out. what it means is that that is not necessarily where i get the most value from in my life. i’m learning, like with time management, that for me to be happy, i need to balance the social and the solitude. i like and need at least one day to myself a week. and i’ve learnt that it’s ok for me to do that.

and a huge change that i’ve noticed is colour. i love colour, i even wear colour, i find myself attracted to colour over the black and grey that shadowed my life like a heavy fog before.

there are some pretty sweet things about being alone too;

i shower with the door open so that i can hear the stereo, i can’t remember the last time i closed the toilet door!

all the gross stuff is my gross stuff, you know, like hair in the plug hole.

every bit of food that i buy is mine. never do i go to the fridge in search of the tim tams I bought not to find them. and speaking of which, never do i buy something that i don’t love.

my home doesn’t have walls anymore, no longer is eye brow tweezing confined to the bathroom, nail clipping can be done while watching tv on the couch and i can walk around anywhere wearing a towel and a face mask. or even less if i so desire.

my money is my money, if i spend too much on gas, it’s my fault, and my responsibility, which can be a bummer, but it’s also only me who i have to teach to turn the heater down.

and i never have to rely on someone else to pay their fair share.

my sister has lived alone for years and i used to wonder what she did when she got home from work, no one to talk to, and no one to eat dinner with. now i know that what she does is be awesome. that’s what we all do when we’re home alone and no one else can see.

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