Thursday, 5 February 2015

During Alone

I will admit it….I hate being alone! I’m a social creature by choice, and have learned throughout the years that I simply don’t do well by myself. I would love to be able to put my finger on exactly why? Most people would bask in the silence and revel at being able to do exactly what they want. For me, it’s simply a source of anxiety.

When I know there’s a day/night coming up when boyfriend and the boys will be gone, I do everything in my power to make plans with others.  In the event that I’m forced to go it alone, my mind races with a list of a million things I could do:  go shopping, knit, get my favorite take out, watch that movie I’ve been dying to see that no one else wants to, clean, do laundry, organize, go for a walk, make phone calls, catch up on emails….so many choices. What do I end up doing?  A little of this and a little of that, and nothing gets accomplished.   Relaxation and peace is never achieved. Mind you, I have gotten better over the years. Usually a hot shower and glass of wine, will help set the mood…ok, who am I kidding….a bottle.

One major change I had when going through my divorce, is that you are inevitably alone for a major part of the time, whether you like it or not. It’s no longer a choice….it just is.  I went from a family unit with plenty of  noise and chaos…good, happy chaos, but chaos….to complete and utter silence overnight. When we split up, we decided on shared custody…50/50. So that meant 50% of the time, it was just me.  The concept of this was more terrifying than anything to me. I had always been someone’s wife….someone’s mother. Without that….what was I?

Alone was something I had never done. I moved from my parents house at eighteen, to an apartment with a roommate, then moved in with my boyfriend, who became my husband and the rest is history.  I had never had that opportunity, all be it by choice, to have it be just me.  I didn’t know how to do it.

I would see those people who can go for a meal, movie, travel or shopping by themselves and envy them. It’s not that I couldn’t do those things alone….it’s that I just plain didn’t want to. I could never fathom vacationing by myself  and  I love being able to converse over a meal, or have a discussion while picking up toilet paper and milk.  I know it’s completely selfish….I do! No one should be subjected to me smelling twelve bottles of shampoo before deciding on the ‘ol standby anyway.  And let’s face it, going to a movie is not something that requires two people….you’re in a dark room and don’t talk the whole time!

Now, I wouldn’t think being by myself would be so bad…I mean, hell, I’m fun to be around, right?! When out in a group of friends or family, I’ve never been the shy, quiet one. A little snarky and sarcastic at times, but  joking and smiling (I’m fully aware I use humor to cover feelings of inadequacy)   I always tend to speak up, sometimes to a fault, but I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I can have a good time in almost any situation. Even in a room full of strangers, I can find some to talk to.Yes I’m that person that comments to you in line at the store, or makes light conversation on the plane… So why is it that keeping company with just myself, is so hard?

Lately I have become very self aware of my habits….there are definitely things that still need some tweaking. We are all a work in progress, right?  Ironically, I’ve realized that while I’m afraid to disappoint others, I have no problem disappointing myself . While I’m more trusting with others,  I can’t trust myself .  What does that say when I can’t hold myself accountable or trust in my own opinion? I feel like that is part of the not wanting to be alone….the angel and devil on my shoulders aren’t enough, I need someone actually watching over me and giving input and opinions. As if my own opinion is never enough and every choice requires validation.

From the outside looking in, I would appear to be confident, or so I’ve been told. That is SO not the case. I question myself quite frequently. In my head I believe that  by my age I should be confident in my views, accepting of my body, and at peace with myself and my choices.  I long for all of these things….for inner peace and tranquility.   It’s part of what has lead me on this path of discovery and improvement.  All in all, I’m just seeking out consistent happiness and I really do believe this starts with me.  For many years, my happiness has been dependant on others. When they inevitably don’t live up to my expectations, I am disappointed, hurt, sad and betrayed. How can anyone live up to that pressure? If I’m not content and satisfied with myself, and who I am as a person and the choices I make, how can I expect others to be? I can’t continue to look outward for MY feelings.

It’s part of why I’ve started this blog. In the beginning, it was going to just be a journal. Something I’ve done over the years many times, simply to get feelings out into the universe but for my eyes only.  I soon realized that wasn’t enough, I need to have  confidence in my words. I needed to put myself out there, break free from my comfort zone. I needed to create something, knowing all the while it was not only therapeutic to myself but that others would find familiarity in it too. If not….if they didn’t, so be it, maybe I’d be the only one who feels this way. Then I could accept that.  I vowed to keep the unsensorship as if journaling to myself, and so I began. What I’ve discovered in these few short posts, is that no one else is doing this but me. These are my thoughts and my words….I’m essentially finding a way and creating an outlet to find happiness and  be at peace….alone!


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