*OK, don't go gettin' your panties in a wad and calling an intervention or anything. I just love pop culture references and if you aren't singing the song already, I don't know if I can be your Internet-friend. I'm just kidding. No I'm not. Yes I am. I don't drink alone, I drink with my friends. Ha ha, I don't drink with my friends, I don't have any friends. I'm just kidding. Yes I do. Just kidding.** (And yes, that would be ANOTHER pop culture reference. Do you get it? Do ya? Do ya? OK good.)
Ahem. Where was I? Oh yeah.
I have a lot of good thoughts while lying in bed at night. You know, in those moments before sleep takes over and delivers me to that crazy place called Dream Land where I dream about not just teeth, but half of my lower jaw falling out and then later, being robbed while reading a book in an extremely vast lobby of a bank that is carpeted with a plush off-white pile so thick that when I try and run away it feels like I am running in sand. (No, I swear. I don't do drugs. I always dream like this.)
Yeah, in those moments, I have conversations in my head that make sense of my life like I'm talking to a good friend. Its great - I get my points across, I always make sense and I always agree with myself. And after writing that post the other day, I spent the other night thinking about how fine the line is between being alone and truly being lonely.
My entire life, as long as I can remember, I've been self-sufficient. In the early days of my relationship with the Hubster, I remember declaring that "I don't need a man to take care of me, but I'd like one to want to," which, in my nearly-still-a-teenager-brain made such COMPLETE sense and proved how absolutely DEEP I was. But the point I was trying to make was that wanting someone or something could be so much more powerful than needing them. I mean, I can change my oil by myself, but that doesn't mean I want to. If someone does it for me, well then how sweet is that? (Honestly, let's be real here - I live in cold-ass Wisconsin, where I'd be damned before crawling under a stone-cold automobile to lie on frozen pavement only to get all messy and oily in the winter...I mean, why would I do that when I can pay some 16-year-old kid at the Quickly Lube $20 to do it for me? But I digress...)
I've done a lot of things on my own. I've wandered the shops of Sea Port Village in San Diego and taken walking tours of haunted houses in Georgetown. I've dined alone at sushi bars in Tampa and had a martini by myself at the House of Blues in Chicago. I've flown solo to Nashville to room with people I'd not yet met, and spent a week in Dallas making new friends at a week-long conference. I took a rock climbing class, and a motorcycle riding class and a Pilates class without the support of a friend beside me.
Would I have liked to have done these things with someone else? Someone who could keep me company so as to not feel like a cliche while sitting in a hotel lobby bar? Of course. But I don't think that makes me a loser for heading out solo. I'd like to think I'm brave.
Some people prefer to wait until the timing is perfect - until their six very best girlfriends agree that they're all going to have this really super duper great weekend adventure. But I'd rather...how you say? GET'R DONE.*** (Oh yes. I went there.)
Just the other day I told my Hubby I was going to go to New York City in August. He didn't bother to ask me who I was going with. He just said, "Sounds cool." I know I'll find many folks I know once I get there. But I wasn't going to wait until I found a travel companion to reserve my space. I'll figure that part out later.
I've had lots of people tell me, "Oh, I could never do that kind of thing. No way."
They so totally could. If its what they really wanted to do. They don't really need someone to get on that plane with them. The fact that its more important for them to be socially comfortable than participate in something? Just makes us different, and I respect that. I "get" that.
But the fact that I can do these things and not think twice about them doesn't mean I like to be alone. Its the hours in between all of these busy things where people strive for companionship and comfort and peace and love.
I guess I could just do that stuff by myself as well, but I don't really want to.
***Larry the Cable Guy