Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why can it be so hard to be alone?

Tonight I came home and found myself without plans. When faced with a night like this, I usually have one of two experiences. I either revel in it and soak up the time to myself, or I freak out a little bit. Unfortunately, it tends to be the latter experience recently. But why?

Usually I am pro-solitude. I seek it often in coffee shops and books and runs. But this kind of solitude, this one that I don't voluntarily gets to me. It puts me on the verge of paranoia or depression. Or both. I think this quote describes it perfectly, which I've actually referenced in a prior post as well:

“There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.”

-Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

I come home from work tired, drained, and deeply restless. I find myself in the house alone; everyone else has other plans. I begin to think about what I can's one of those nights where nothing sounds appealing. I begin to text a few people halfheartedly, but I've done this dance before. I can feel the desperation creep up...where is this coming from? It feels like a twisting of my stomach as the thoughts start to come up and morph into the worst kind of lies. The realistic-sounding ones. The ones that tell me I'm lacking in something. The ones that tell me my life is lackluster, and that I'll always find myself in these lonely places of restlessness. Nevermind that I have plans with amazing friends 80% of the time, it's the 20% that can somehow inflate and overshadow everything else. And really, am I making the most of that time with friends? What if it was trimmed down to 100% investment into half the amount of people? I'd rather be the best friend I can be to a smaller number of people.

Thoughts turn to social media. Every minute I press to open the apps...Facebook, Instagram, Tinder...looking for some sort of affirmation. Mindlessly swipe, swipe, swipe, match? How many likes do I have on my picture? Should I post a status? All of it working towards a false sense of intimacy and validation. Eyes search the screen as if it can satisfy, but it only leaves me mostly empty.

I think what it comes down to is that I've been struggling lately with not having a person. I've had this person before, where you're so close that you think the same thoughts and being together is as easy as breathing. Laughter is your language and going to the grocery store can be the time of your life. It's hard to find, and sometimes complicated to keep. On nights like this, all I can do is think about how I don't have that, and how much easier a night like this would be if I did.

This will pass, as all things do, but if there is anything that I have learned in my many years of self-analysis, it is that it's valuable to sit with this for a little bit. Face it, understand it, and then when you're ready, move past it. Because it might not be the last time it comes around, and maybe next time it will be a little bit easier.

I never really know who I'm writing to on this blog. I'm not the "promoter" type, because this is vulnerable for me. I want people to stumble upon it because they want to, instead of putting myself out there to be open to criticism or worse...silence. I've included it on my public Instagram because maybe someone will find something from it. Is it too personal to invite strangers to? Maybe some earlier posts. But really, sometimes those posts are the ones who speak to people the most. Then again, I could be writing to myself on here. That's ok too.

Whether this post is read by a hundred people or just one, thank you for reading. I appreciate you.