Saturday, November 06, 2010

Being Alone

In college, it seemed weird to me that people sat alone at cafe tables.  (In high school I'll admit to using such socially-sensitive utterances as "dude, what a loner.")  Since I'd chosen to attend college as a commuter, however, and since I made no discernible attempts to meet people, I grew accustomed to breaks at cafes or the student union between classes.  I grew to appreciate them because I'd get a snack, get in my studying, and pass the time doing whatever I wanted.  College was a funny time for being alone, anyway, because space was at a premium.  Often in my alone-ness I'd be joined by another solo study buddy.  We'd just sit sharing space, still alone, not talking.  It was cool, and it was weird.

Tonight I went to the movies by myself.  E wasn't going to be home with the monkeys for a few hours and my evening was suddenly free.  It's been a while since I've done it.  I started when Henry was a baby and paying or getting a babysitter seemed ridiculous--sometimes E or I would take turns going to the movies.  One of us might as well go became our mantra.  Of course I love to go to the movies with other people--there's something wonderful about sharing stories with the people you like that brings you closer, I think--but I'll admit to loving a solo movie trip every once in a while.  Tonight was great.  I saw Red and I totally enjoyed myself.

As a true introvert, my time alone is what restores me.  Even when E's home, I'll lock myself away in the bedroom some nights to recharge.  After being "on" all day at work, I need to feel like I have peace.  I love love love love love love love listening to music while I drive alone and let my thoughts wander.  In fact, I had a little moment with Coldplay on Thursday on the way to get my hair cut.  (Coldplay, you're still my favorite.  I don't care what they say about you being for soccer moms.)  I do my best thinking in the shower.  Is that weird? Sometimes I like to watch TV by myself.  Total control, free of shame.  I especially like the space that lies between my pressing the remote to turn off the TV each night and the moment I actually fall asleep.  Those minutes are entirely mine to think away as I choose.

I think I'm missing my alone time since I'm missing running.  I've come to depend on it so much.

Ironically, being alone was really hard when E moved out.  Back then it meant rejection.  It meant something was wrong with me/us/our marriage.  It felt like it meant I didn't deserve a happy family.  It felt like a slap in the face, and there were many ugly moments spent wishing I had somebody around who would distract me out of my misery.  But even that alone I had to learn how to accept.  I think it made me step outside of myself a little to realize that some of that, I need.  Occasional moments alone are beautiful.  They help me to come back to the world a little bit better.

Yay for alone time!


  1. i totally agree with alone time. i find it completely necessary, especially when you live with someone. the bf and i will be at each other's throats if we don't each get our "alone time" - thankfully it doesn't happen much since our schedules are so crazy and one of us is likely to be in a hotel overnight during the week.

    so Red was a good movie? i was thinking of seeing it.

  2. Alone time is a must to keep your sanity, in my opinion! I just started going to the movies by myself and I like it. I can go see the independent films and cheesy movies no one else wants to see!