Something my mom recently said to me has been sticking with me. Annoying how those mom-comments tend to do that, eh?
While talking to my mom about my roommate leaving soon (which he now has!! I’ll save that story for another day…) and I will once again be living alone, I said that I will probably feel lonely. Her reply was, “You really don’t like being alone, do you?” Which, you know, to me implied that I was incapable of being alone and that I was needy, and that I don’t like myself. It’s been nagging at me, because I feel quite the contrary.
I am perfectly capable of being alone. I just prefer being in the company of others.
Let me backtrack and explain a little further.
I have always considered myself an independent person. I am an only child, and as such, I was forced to play by myself constantly when not in the company of classmates and family members. I constantly read, invented friends, talked to myself, choreographed dances in front of a mirror, played with my dolls/Barbies, watched TV and even hit tennis balls against a wall to occupy my time. While this may sound sad, trust me, I had quite the wild imagination..
But, in the same breath, I am terribly social. I LOVE talking with anyone and everyone about anything. I love being able to relate with people on one simple thing and letting the conversations flow from there. The endless possibilities of connecting with others fascinates me, especially those around my own age.
This is why my current job is not quite cutting it, socially .
You’d think as a journalist, conversing with other people on a daily basis is enough of an interaction. Perhaps some days it is, and I do enjoy those that I converse with. However, I have an extremely hard time relating. There are not many people here my age to talk to (with the exception of the one friend my age that I’ve made. You know who you are!). I spend my days talking with those of the baby boomer generation and older, those around the age of my parents and grandparents, and while I like interacting with them, I find myself yearning for the friends my own age to whom I can relate a little more. I am also stuck behind a desk 95% of the time, in an office where I can’t often interact with others.
Then I get home from the office, where I don’t even know what to do with myself. After years of living in a college environment where I was constantly surrounded by those my own age, and I was able to call any of them at any give moment to meet up, I am now living alone in a town where I know a handful of people and have limited opportunities of social interaction. And, to be honest, I am kind of sad. Okay, really sad.
So, I am left with this question: Does being social and enjoying spending time in the company of others more than spending time by myself qualify me as needy or incapable of being alone? Has the college environment made me completely incapable of living or being on my own?
Don’t get me wrong. Even though I may not treat myself the best all the time, I do like myself, and I LOVE spending time alone. I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and I don’t really have to answer to anyone, SO THERE. (That just felt like the right way to end such a selfish sentence.) I think it’s the fact that I don’t really have much of a choice, that most of my options leave me no choice but doing them by myself, that makes my life seem so boring and depressing. Does that make any sense? Maybe it just does to me. Maybe I’m a product of my environment and I have become so used to having a plethora of choices and opportunities for activities, I have become so used to being able to decide if I felt like being alone or if I wanted to “hang out,” that I now require those same options in my daily life after college.
Maybe, just maybe, though, I just need to tough it out and quit being a baby.
Maybe, instead, I’ll choose to treat these past months (and months to come) spent on my own as a learning experience. I don’t know what exactly this is supposed to teach me; maybe that I’m capable of handling much more than I thought I could, or maybe that my own company is enough. I’m sure that I’ll figure it out in the future. After all, that’s what our 20s are about, isn’t it? Growing and learning, and not realizing the point of it all until later on? As much as that sucks, and as much as I want to know the answers to all of life’s problems NOW, I am slowly realizing that I cannot, and will not, know. Life is about taking the time to be by yourself, to learn about yourself and the path you are on, and to become more in-touch with your own wants/needs, especially when you’re young. Hopefully I will figure it all out one of these days, but for now I’m kept in the dark. Alone and on my own path. (Well, sort of).
P.S. I’m pretty damn sick of the word “maybe” right about now. But, MAYBE (ha ha), the word is a metaphor of the 20s; endless possibilities and answers. Hmm. Just some food for thought…