Learning To Be Alone

I’ve never really been alone in my life.

Growing up, I was always surrounded by my family, and never spent a day in childcare.

When I was about 7, I  befriended a cute little old lady whom I referred to as “Grandma #3.” She was a widow who frequented our restaurant with her friend, Etta, almost daily. I would sit with her when she ate lunch and we’d talk about whatever a 7-year-old and two 80-year-old ladies would discuss and some days, she would drive me in her pale lime green Pinto to her mobile home. We’d pick cherries from her tree, and she’d teach me how to knit.

In the third grade, I met my childhood best friend, Heidi (whom I blogged about last week). I was a little kleptomaniac back then and would steal cookies from kid’s lunches (I know, I’m a horrible person). One day, I stole hers, and I felt really bad since we had just started our friendship. We did everything together, until high school, when she got a boyfriend and entered the “Boyfriend Bubble,” never to be seen or heard from again…until they broke up, but by then I had met Lisa and we finished out high school together, inseparable.

In college, I met my now ex-husband and were together for 14 years.

Now, at 35 years old, my best friend, Terri and I have been friends for six years now, and both of us lead very separate lives. We only are able to get together about once a month, and we try to catch up on each other’s lives as much as possible.

Since moving to the beach in December, I’ve really spent the most time alone ever in my life. I don’t have a ton of friends with a lot of time out here and I’ve been trying to spend less money going out so I stay home quite a bit.  This weekend, I walked to the beach and wandered for hours, shopping, eating, thinking, and listening to motivational talks on tape.

Learning to be alone, and to be okay with being alone has been one of my biggest hurdles in the single life. I don’t mind doing some things alone as long as I know that I have the choice of NOT doing it alone should I want that. But these days, I am forced to have alone time…and it is difficult. Luckily, adversity helps us grow and I am utilizing this time for self improvement and becoming a bad ass, a confident, well-rounded woman. I hope. This part of the journey may not be enjoyable, but it is necessary.

“The strongest men are the most alone.” ― Henrik Ibsen

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