Please Don’t Think That I’m Broken
Loneliness is a human condition, not a weakness.
I snapped. I didn’t mean for it to happen. Really though, it was a long time coming.
There is a common dilemma of single people. We get up, we go to work, 824 things happen and then we go home. This spans a good 12 hours. The hardest part? When we get home, there is nothing there. It’s lonely.
The processing of those 824 things that happened in my day falls solidly on the big ears of a trusted Chihuahua.
As much as I love that damn dog, there’s only so much she can do for me.
My loneliness came crashing down on me in the middle of a girls’ night. We had gotten together for wine and a movie. I had been looking forward to catching up and getting to actually talk to people.
This was about the time I was trying to figure out if I wanted to date any more. It wasn’t working for me but it is incredibly hard to feel like you’re giving up on love.
I coined a term a few months ago for when your married friends try to tell you what you should do when they have little understanding of how modern dating works. Some of my friends have been married for over 20 years. “Marriedsplaining” happens.
That night, it happened in the form a friend I’ve had most of my life telling me that if something happened to her husband or if they got divorced, she’d be fine. She’d revel in the alone time.
“Just be alone,” she said. “Just do it. Take this time to be you and discover yourself and be okay with yourself.”
She meant well, but I lost my shit. And when I say I lost my shit, I mean there was no finding it after that. I didn’t just yell at her. I screamed at her that it was not that easy. Everything that had been simmering in my emotional pot boiled over and spilled out all over the place. It wasn’t pretty.
I was angry at her for many reasons I couldn’t even try to express. She had oversimplified my loneliness.
I know that she sees that my grass is sometimes pretty green. She has a husband and a small daughter. She’s a teacher. She lives every day with someone in her face. I can go 48 hours and not talk to a soul if I don’t want to. I understand my luxuries. But, I know her luxuries, too. I’ve had them.
More than anything, what bothered me was the suggestion that I figure out how to be “okay with me.” I am okay with me. I am really okay with me. This version of me has done the soul searching, the self help, the therapy. Just because I’m divorced, it doesn’t mean I’m broken.
No amount of soul searching is a steadfast cure for loneliness. You can’t read a Brene Brown book and suddenly feel fine about being alone. I’ve tried. It didn’t work.
I am not the type of woman who needs to have someone in her life. I am incredibly self sufficient and independent. I want someone in my life. There’s a big difference.
I know that if my friend’s marriage ceased to be, she would not be fine. She would be a hot mess. We all become a hot mess, even for a little bit. We process everything, though. We heal. We learn our faults. We take ownership and make changes. It’s after this good work is done that we’re left with the loneliness.
It’s the little things. I miss sleeping with someone next to me. I have been sleeping alone for over a year and a half. I still sleep on one side of the bed. The other side just sits there, empty.
Wanting someone close to me is not a weakness that needs to be brushed away. It’s an emotional experience that makes me human.
This is temporary. Either I will eventually have someone next to me that will be the recipient of all of my spontaneous bad puns that are lost on the Chihuahua or the loneliness will eventually wane to a more manageable level.
Right now, I’ll get by. I always do. I have wonderful friends I can spend time with and I do revel in my alone time. I have a solo trip planned next month to Denver. I’m taking myself to Red Rocks for the first time. This month, I’ll figure out how to load the kayak onto the car by myself. Just don’t make me feel like I’m broken for wanting another kayak up there next to mine.