Monday, August 16, 2010

How to be alone, part 2

Having been alone my whole life, it's an adjustment NOT being alone. Worse and more difficult than to explain this to friends or random people, is explaining this to someone you're dating. Like Krissy, I have had friends, I have had family.

But before I had friends, I was alone. I didn't have close friends until I was 15 or so. It was a strange concept, which is perhaps why I was so easily convinced once that no one wanted to be my friend-even though they did.

I had a large family, so I was never completely alone. I had 3 brothers, but they had different interests. As much as I pretended to like these interests, or they pretended I wasn't an inconvenience attempting to play sports, I was set apart. In basketball, we came to an agreement that I would stand in one place, which was a "sweet spot" for me, and when given the ball, I would shoot. I think when I sunk a shot, I sang "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John. No wonder I was alone. Even so, my siblings had friends at a much earlier age. At first I probably hated the lonely feeling. Then lonely didn't feel so lonely.

The times when I did want to be alone, I never really was. I brought up the notion of going to the bathroom while another person was showering in the same bathroom. It freaked my boyfriend out. We did it all the time growing up. 7 people and 2 bathrooms. Do. The. Math. Before the age of 24 I only had my own room for 1 year. And then for two years I was an independent, fully employed young man...who lived with his parents. Now that I can be alone...sometimes I just want to.

It's hard now to explain to someone that you choose to be with and who chooses to be with me, that sometimes, I just need to be completely alone. It's probably more often than is "acceptable" and I will keep the quotes because having spent so much time not worrying about societal norms I don't think there is an "acceptable" amount. Perhaps it sounds selfish to the other person when you explain that it is not about them. It has absolutely nothing to with anyone but me. Maybe it takes loners more time to be "good" at a relationship. Again, I keep the quotes because I think the best relationships are formed when two people maintain their strong characteristics. It doesn't mean I love any less.

Being alone you learn a lot about yourself. I'm always told I seem very sure of who I am. Well, I hope so, because I have had more time to work on myself than the average person. And...I like me. Me and myself have had some good times together. The older I get the harder it is to stay in touch with some friends. With jobs, meetings, relationships, family, friends, weddings, parties, hobbies, exercise- there is precious little time for oneself. I have to make more of an effort to find quality time with important people in my life. To catch up with an old friend. Sometimes I need time to catch up with the oldest friend I have.

Follow the advice from the video in part 1. The more you learn about yourself, the better you will be for yourself and others :)


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