it feels really strange writing about being alone. the thoughts come easily but the words don’t.
for most of my adult life, i’ve had the opportunity to become an expert in the field of “dating myself”. to be honest, i don’t usually get very lonely. i can spend a full day in my house alone— reading, eating, staring out the window… realizing late in the evening that i have yet to actually use my vocal chords once. it doesn’t bother me, this is me in my element. but this is the time of year when being alone feels extra alone. over the last few years i have had some flings, people i’ve “hung out with”, friendships with benefits, dating-but-not-dating-cause-what-are-labels right?? it’s safe to say that i have not had someone in my life significant enough to bring home for the holidays in a long, long time. this is fine, and for those of you that know me know that i am really good at making fun of myself. things can’t be awkward or embarrassing when you’re the one outing yourself at the dinner table… (i’m too wild to be tied down!!, who needs love? i have pizza!!, no he really does exist, i swear!!) every year i make a joke that next year will be the year for me. every year is the same. recently i was in a real-life actual relationship (!!) that was fun, loving, and easy. unfortunately the relationship ended, and it’s hard not to think about what the holidays ahead would have been like if it hadn’t.
earlier this week i read something online that really stood out to me, because i have struggled with this thought ever since i can remember. it is the direct correlation between “not being together” and “not being good enough”. every time a relationship fails, or doesn’t last as long as i’d hoped, i am wracked with thoughts of not having been good enough for this person. someone else out there is better than me, and that’s why we didn’t work out. if only i’d been smarter, he wouldn’t have lost interest. i swear too much. i have too many visible tattoos. i don’t dress like a woman my age “should dress”. the list goes on.
but what does it even mean to be good enough? and why does being in a relationship define being good enough? why, in society, do the people in successful companionships seem to be coveted, envied, and put on a pedestal? as much as this is something that i know i am looking for and want in life, why does it make me less to be alone? i feel there is a stigma around someone who is alone, especially a woman. and even more so, a woman who is alone at my age… it must mean they are not compatible. it must mean something is wrong with them. time is running out. the list goes on.
solitude is a learning experience, much like relationships are.
every time a relationship ends and i am alone once again, that learning goes deeper.
i find i am more empathetic towards myself. i am more willing to let myself feel things without being ashamed. i am not willing to let anyone tell me how i should or shouldn’t feel about love. learning these things are paramount to my success as a happy person, and they are learned in sadness, aloneness.
mostly in my solitude, i feel the huge amount of support i have from friends, family and peers.
i am never truly alone.
this is good enough.