Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Trouble with Alone

I thought this was an appropriate post for Valentine's Day. I still hope for someone special, but at least now I have an awesome group of friends to share everything with.


April 7, 2004

I'm not trying to sound like one of those eHarmony commercials. (Trust me. I tried that, and it was the scariest thing I've ever been a part of.) However, when my Bridget Jones moods take over there is nothing I can do about it.

I'm not Jerry Maguire or anything. I know how to be alone. The fact is that I've been alone for twenty-three years now. I've gone on a few dates. I've had a few pseudo-relationships. Anything close to a relationship that I have ever been in has existed entirely in my head. So, yes, I know how to be alone. And I appreciate my aloneness. There are times when I think, "Ugh, I can't imagine having someone around all the time," or, "Ugh, I can't imagine having to share my bed with someone" (which is ironic considering that I never venture to the other side of the bed). I can be messy at midterms and finals and nobody is going to bitch at me. I can make my house spic and span after midterms and finals and nobody will mess it up. And as the Quirkyalone motto puts it, "I'm free and open to possibility."

But that doesn't change the fact that I want to share my life with another person. Now, there are two reactions to that. First, there are the people who either understand or are emotional saps who overly understand. However, it is the second reaction that I would like to address - the empowered loners who say, "There's no reason you can't do everything you want to do on your own." This is true. And as I mentioned before, I've been doing everything I want to do alone for twenty-three years, and I also think that when you take big steps alone you learn a lot about yourself.

I took a big step alone last year when I went to England for two months. While I was there, I was so proud of myself. The only place I really wished I had someone with me was in Ireland, and that wasn't necessarily a romantic wish. When you discover something you love as much as I loved Ireland, you want to share it with someone, which brings me back to my point. The problem is that a year later, I'm still the only one who shares my experience. There's no one to turn to and say, "Hey, remember how great the music was in Doolin, and how quiet that little country road was?" "Remember how beautiful the stars looked that night as we walked back to the hostel?" There's not even anyone to laugh at how I spilt Coke all over myself on the bus. So, a year later, I keep getting these pictures back, and they're all of scenery. Everyone thought I was weird because I didn't really want to be in my pictures, but why would I? I know what I look like. What am I going to do, put a whole bunch of pictures of me in Europe around my house and on my desktop? I have two amazing months of my life, and the people who shared it with me were thousands of miles away talking to me every night on the internet.

Now, I'm not saying you should run out and find just anyone so you can start sharing your life. That's how a bazillion bad relationships and broken marriages have started. I'm also not saying that you should pass up opportunities now. If Ireland is calling, hop on a plane and go. I would go again by myself in a heartbeat. I'm just saying that next time you feel like a sap for wanting someone to laugh at you when you sing off key in the shower, don't. Be quirkyalone, but don't be afraid to hope for quirkytogether.


The Jason said...

You're funny. You jump from one extreme and move to the next and by the time the credits roll, you're back to where you started. Yet I do know where you're coming from. I've been through several meaningless relationships, and some that were just flings. I wouldn't ask Jess or anyone from Eastgate about them because the only girlfriend I brought up was Jamie. I kept my love life from them, didn't want to get judged. Anyway, I do remember thinking sometimes that I had someone go with me that way I wouldn't be the only one telling stories about my trips. But I also didn't like to be tied down, or have to watch what I do or else the opposite sex will break up.

Somewhere along the line I lucked out and found someone where I could be a complete nerd, or serious and arrogant whenever I felt like it and she didn't mind at all. I could comfortably be myself and not have to put on a mask and dance around the ballroom of make believe people and empty relationships.

Eventully you'll find your quirky-relationship. Don't worry, have fun being single while you can

collin fox said...

Hmm, I hear those quirkytogether things are really hard to find. If you ever find a guy like that, be sure to move to Norfolk with him. :)