At the beginning of August, I was feeling a bit like a headless chicken and adjusting to a ‘new’ life (so to speak i.e. being single) after nearly 3 years.
This left me with a question that was looming over my head for a while:
Am I afraid to be alone?
The question is pretty morbid, but it comes from several years of actually having a constant in my life – and suddenly after all this time, I’m back to being single again. However, this isn’t just about having an other half, it’s about people around me that really get me as opposed to having friends that stick around for just a season or two. It’s rather ridiculous, I’ll admit, but I have a tendency to think too much – as has been pointed out countless times by people.
I’ve encountered many people through the years that I form wonderful bonds with, but for some fundamentally warped reason, I manage to lose them after a while. Call it my stupidity, my sense of being over impulsive or just my verbal diarrhea that sometimes scares people. I do have a tendency to talk a little bit too much, and sometimes make incredulous statements with a dash or sarcasm that makes people wonder if I have a bad case of turrets. I kid you not. I also think I have a tendency to be hyper sensitive. It apparently isn’t very appealing – or so I hear.
Anyway, as I’ve said, I’ve realized that there are days I feel incredibly alone. And it scares the bejeezus out of me. In terms of being single, I’m not sure it’s the greatest thing in the world to solely think you NEED someone in your life to complete you… So many people embrace the single life with bells on and enjoy every aspect of it. So why am I afraid of being alone then? My ever eloquent mother hit the nail on the head (as usual) – “It’s because all the boys/men/morons you’ve dated have F***** your head and s****** with your self-esteem that you have this constant need to date someone to validate your sense of worth. Snap out of it!” I told you, my mum is wise. And so colorful with her words. It’s endearing.
But when I think of what she says, and I mean REALLY think about it, I’ve begun to understand that this is exactly what I’m doing. I need someone to validate that I am lovable and wanted rather than actually focus on loving myself. I’ve ALLOWED my self-esteem to take a hit every single time because I think that every time someone leaves me, it’s my fault. And this is the heart of the sense of loneliness.
So, what is really wrong with being alone? Does it make someone any less badass? Does it make someone a pitiful creature? No. It most certainly does not. Unfortunately, society makes it to be a bigger deal than it should be, and quite honestly I’m kind of fed up with the old biddies shaking their heads and saying, “You need a man, or you’ll die a spinster.” Well, I never. Seriously? Being alone is almost being treated like a crime. That as long as you have someone life will be a bed of roses. Ah, bulls****. You and I both know (and nod you’re head if you agree) that being with someone doesn’t guarantee happiness. That it isn’t the be all and end all of life – which clearly is the idea being portrayed to the world. Cue major eye roll and exasperated sigh here.
I haven’t been very open to the whole idea of not dating anyone for a while now – but in this last month, I’ve actually begun to focus on myself, and what I can do to become a better version of me. This also has led to some very poor life choices (most of them involving partial inebriation. Devil.), which made me realize that I was heading down the path I swore I wouldn’t – total and utter self-destruction. So before I went down that road again, I took a step back to figure out what it is I really wanted. It was scary that the actual reflection brought me to these conclusions:
- Focus on ME. I am woman, I am fiercely independent and I don’t need a man to make me feel good (I just used a Pussycat Dolls song lyric..wonderful.).
- I can be ALONE. Being alone isn’t a crime, it isn’t pitiful, it is a time to re-discover the person I am, and make changes without having outside influences.
I KNOW RIGHT? Who would have thought that spending time reflecting would make me so incredibly philosophical and wise? Well, it did. So the bottom line is – it’s OK to be afraid to be alone, but being alone isn’t a bad thing. WOO. I’m on FIRE people. Look at me belting out these absolutely deep and meaningful statements! (Cue pat on the back. Thanks.)
I’ve also understood that there will ALWAYS be people who come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime. The world is a stage, and all it’s men and women merely players. (Shakespeare, you are so relevant.) People will come, and people will go but at the end of the day, the ones who stay are the ones that have your back. Everyone makes mistakes – and everyone deserves a chance (or sometimes a couple) to make a change and start over. But if people, who you think are your friends leave you because of an argument, a poor life choice or something that you unintentionally did, then, well, they really aren’t your friends. They’re just.. people who decided they were done with their use of you and needed to move on again. You see, they left you to move onto someone else. Do you see that the problem isn’t you, it’s them?! Sure, it takes two hands to clap but if they’re really your friends they’d stick around, work through the problem and have your back. NOT leave you ’cause the going got tough (Totally ripped off Billy Ocean there. Yikes.).
Eventually, there are a few friends who stay around because well, they’re all kinds of wonderful and awesome, but mostly because they’re fiercely loyal. They might have a bit of an off moment with you once in a while, but you end up working things out. Value those friends. Treasure them. You’re NOT ALONE because you HAVE THEM.
So, even though I’m still marginally afraid of being alone, I actually am quite blessed. I have some wonderful people in my life that have stood by me no matter what, have been loyal to me, and have my back. So even if I don’t have a man, I have people who love me for ME, and accept my quirks and idiosyncrasies and still have stuck around (God you must have superhuman strength to bear with the likes of me..) and guess what, that makes me INCREDIBLY lucky. So people – if you ever think you’re alone, don’t. You probably have a handful of wonderful souls that will never ever leave you, no matter what happens.
Stay happy. Be fierce.