Thursday, November 11, 2010

Alone Again, Naturally

Last night as I dived under the covers with a book, as is my nightly habit, I was taken with a deep hit of loneliness. It was a surprise because it is not something I normally feel at that moment. Rather than burying the feeling immediately, I decided to just sit with it, examine it a tiny bit but without a tinge of obsession or a sense of needing to fix it.

Since taking residence here in my nest in early May, I have been alone, slept alone in my bed more than I have in decades. This is not an exaggeration at all, it is plain fact. Mostly I enjoy it endlessly. It has felt a bit like a revelation to go food shopping without thinking of anyone's needs, wants, or palete; to only have myself to answer to regarding my spending; paying off debt rather than accruing more has been heavenly - I used a credit card this spring, an act I haven't done in about five years. Somewhat sadly I have discovered I sleep better when alone - what I lose in dream recall is made up, somewhat, by waking more rested. I now recognize the trade off in having someone in bed with me - it is delicious, comforting (among other things, ahem), but the sleeping is more fitful.

Spending hours, days even by myself holed up with no one for physical company has been restorative and instructive. I have learned that I know how to reach out for companionship, seen how I resist it but know I can choose to stand up for myself by seeking out people. I can sit in the lonely and see what it brings up; interestingly the lonely doesn't show up all that often. It has been nice to see how I "keep house" when it's just me. It has been informative to see where my limits are, to discover my internal motivation on things because there is no one to prod me.

Another thing I have realized, and am working to make peace with, is my life is rarely tidy and structured. When I look back over the years (and at this point there are many of them to review) there has always been something of a nomadic thread, myriad projects and interests, friends and family fun and drama that result in a lack of rut. This is something that largely suits me, but I have occasionally fought it; thinking my life ought to look different, more like some other people's lives, more like how the overall society thinks life should look like, that we should all have a sort of resigned ennui existence. What I am also seeing is that I also am able to manage a great deal of integrity in this lifestyle, that I keep connections, keep commitments (as best as I can given my predilection for procrastination), am good at networking, and have a great sense of humor (which is required for a life as odd as mine).

I am not lonely though I have moments when loneliness is my core feeling, usually quite briefly. There is nothing inherently scary about these moments, they are good reminders about innate vulnerabilities that we all have. In addition that are good reminders about our innate resilience, that we are stronger than our fears.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Well said. You are indeed strong, beautiful and intelligent. Enjoy what you see in yourself and relish these strengths for what they are.