I’m supposed to bring something I’m working on, or anything I’ve written, so I’ve been going over old writing, looking for
an easy way out inspiration.
For the last group, I found a piece about dating I had written and as I was re-reading it and looking for ways I’d change it I looked up and saw the above image. My bed. And I realized it looks very much like that just about every morning.
What followed was an idea for a series of photos, maybe with words, of a lonely life. (Hey, the image didn’t fill me with joy, ok?) So I took a few more : jigsaw puzzle on the table with one chair waiting for me to come and finish it; a pint of ice cream, half eaten with spoon still in it….random images. I was enjoying the idea, actually, until I suddenly wasn’t.
Next I started to troll through my photos on my iPhone. Lots of people, but I’m not in any of them. I took a vacation and I spotted a few pics of me, selfies…one dressed up before the wedding I was going to,that I had sent to some friends via text. Why did I send that? Looking for some sort of validation that I looked good, that the outfit worked, that….I had no one to tell me how I looked. I have no one to trade off the camera with so at least I’m in a few pics.
It’s always those small things now.
You know, the truth is always the truth. I have a multitude of friends, ones I’ve had for years, other, newer friends. Support online and in real life, yoga. Meditation helps me get out of these funks, allows me to just say no to that second arrow…..the first being “I am alone”, which is the truth. I am lonely for a “person” that I don’t have, haven’t found and may never find. I can deal with that thought even as I don’t like it and want to change it. That second arrow though is the insult to injury arrow…” I’m so lonely! I will never find anyone, no one likes me or ever will, I will die alone”.
There are all kinds of lonely and I am sitting in the big one of “no partner” lonely. And in re-reading my writing about dating (and in the fact that I am still present on dating sites) it all just felt so HOPELESS, you know? And the feeling of I just have to accept that I will be alone the rest of my life creeps back and I rebel and then struggle starts. How much longer should I try, at what point do I just give up? It’s been almost 10 years that I have been alone. I’m used to it; in some ways it’s comfortable and safe.
But who wants to live comfortably and safely? Well, okay, a lot of people, myself included.
Let’s rephrase. Complacent, fearful and lonely.
I played poker with my gals the other night. I haven’t seen them all since the new tattoo and as I sat next to one woman she looked at my tattoo and sighed. I told her I love it, and that my plan is for a full sleeve….she was not amused.
Is a tattoo a replacement, a final fuck you? Most men my age don’t really like them and I get them for myself anyway, but it’s sort of symbolic, maybe , of a decision to face being alone.
I shared this stuff on a group text this afternoon and was encouraged to “find a woman”. HAH! I laughed very hard, but I wish I could, that would certainly open up the dating pool, right? Last week in my yoga class I was able to get my legs behind my head (one at a time, but STILL!!). Now who wouldn’t want some of that?
And now I am laughing again, which, thank god, is where I usually end up. It’s funny, it’s fine, I choose that kind of loneliness when I forget the reality that my life is so full. I would not trade the fullness of my life for any relationship (well, except Tom, obviously). But it’s true. And if I am ” significant other relationship-ly alone” the rest of my life, well; at least I had one great relationship. And I couldn’t ask for better relationships than I have with my friends now….so, so, so.
I put on a breastplate before that second arrow comes barreling towards me.
I am alone. And 85% of the time it’s just fine. Fact.