Loneliness versus Freedom

I got better at doing this alone thing this week. It was ugly but a good thing.

Thursday, 3:30 p.m.

I’ve been very sick this week. It’s my first set of holidays in my whole life I’ve been single, well since I was 17 years old. I’d had a week of family during Christmas and then I would have a week of relaxing, writing, organizing, and dating. I took my oldest and her bf to the airport the Sunday morning after Christmas at 4:30 a.m. and knew immediately that I was getting sick. Sick as a dog folks. It doesn’t sound bad, a head cold, but it was atrocious. Headache, sneezing, exhaustion, so much snot.

On Sunday I wasn’t completely dead yet so I insanely went for a run in 37 degree weather. Perhaps not the wisest thing. Monday was worse, Tuesday I cried, Wednesday I wanted to die (sort of), and today I’m finally coming out of it. I had to cancel my dates, a New Year’s Eve Eve party, and general shenanigans in my beautiful city.

I’m a people person ya’ll. I’ve been alone in my place for five days with one short foray out in the world on NYE in the afternoon (that smart tech-date was moving out of his office and called me from the sidewalk to see if wanted to get a drink. I would have had to be bleeding from my eyes not to go I needed human companionship so badly. Also I like his companionship.)

I talked to my sister for two hours on Monday night. Thank god for her. My oldest texted me a bit but other than that it felt like the whole world had gone away and it was just me in this loft for five whole days with my sadness and sickness. I was so sick at some points I didn’t even feel like watching tv.

Part of the sadness was wanting someone to take care of me a little bit while I was sick (food and hugs especially) but mostly it’s just being alone.

Here’s the weird thing. I used to love to be alone, when I was with a husband I didn’t love and three kids I cherished, and then later when I was with a man I loved but wasn’t extremely compatible with. I adored it, looked forward to it. But now I’m alone so much. I’m a teacher so my job is with teenagers; there’s approximately 20 minutes of adult conversation I fit in with my millennial teacher bestie in a school day if I’m lucky, maybe another 5-10 with a male teacher who’s funny, usually.

I adore to do things with people I like. However, I would rather be alone than with people I don’t like. But I can teach 150 students all day, then do happy hour one night, a date the next, a friend the next and love it.

This has been a conundrum of being single. I want to do what I want when I want: eat, sleep, write, tv (like twice a month), bathe, clean, etc. But I’d also like more companionship.

I miss the constant cuddles of my six-year guy but I don’t miss how I made my life fit his. At this point in my life though I’ll take some loneliness in exchange for complete freedom. I can see a day in the future where I will want that companion but it’s a ways off, perhaps years?

It would be super cool in a year or so to find another independent person who has a kickass life whom I enjoyed being around in all the ways you do and just start slow. It could happen. I think it will, when it’s time.

Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

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