The power of humor covers a million other emotions we do not want to face. Humor is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine of facing loneliness, disappointment, fear and all the other nasties of the emotional rainbow slide down the hatch without a flinch. At least this is true for me. For me, humor is the bees knees when it comes to dealing with life’s little bumps and bruises. Humor was the bridge that led me to really love being single in my mid-30’s.
Before I type one more word into this confessional of a post I want this to be known – I am HAPPY. I am JOYFUL. I am THANKFUL for my life and all of the amazing comforts and privileges with which I have been blessed. I am not unfulfilled in my life. I am not bitter. I am not planning to adopt 99 more cats and recluse myself from the world. Just wanted to get that out there.
Now, onto the confessional.
I am a bit of a loner. I like my quiet time and the silence of an empty house. I like coming home and making my dinner just the way I like it. I like sitting down with my music in the background, a good book occupying one hand and a fork occupying the other. Sometimes I forget there’s food, sometimes I forget there’s a book. In short (too late) I have learned to enjoy my own company and I don’t feel threatened by not having plans all the time.
I can travel alone. I can eat dinner out at a restaurant alone. I can go to events and parties alone. And for the most part, I’m ok.
But sometimes, I come home and eat grocery store sushi standing up and drink twist off wine from a juice glass. Sometimes, I talk to my cat about my day and imagine that her annoyed expression is sympathy, not hatred mixed with hunger. Sometimes, I spend a weekend wondering if my poor dilapidated iPhone has finally lost the will to wheeze out a text or call tone.
I feel these pinpricks behind my eyes when I lay down at night. I feel the expanse beside me in bed and wonder why it’s still empty. I am divorced, so I had my time, but the papers were signed and the goodbyes said nearly five years ago. Why am I still single?
I watch the families in the grocery store – momma, poppa, baby – the baby giggling over the squish of a bag of marshmallows, the momma in her ‘totes adorbs’ outfit and the poppa looking pleased with himself for his full cart, pretty wife and cackling child.
I watch my friends – my dear sweet, crazy friends – married, contented, bouncing babies and wrangling stepkids. They occasionally, but in a good nature, bitch about their husbands hunting trips or poker nights and laugh off the humdrum of their lives in the sweetest voice of a woman sure of her place in the world.
My feelings on this issue are torn.
On one hand I long for the life depicted by the grocery store trio. I long for the humdrum of dinner, laundry, the bickering of ‘who’s turn is it to do the menial chore no one wants to do’, the shared life, the listening to the cadence of someone else’s monologue of their day, the sound of a snore next to me at night…
Yet on the other hand, there is the bookcase. Yes, this bookcase.
This bookcase has looked JUST. LIKE. THIS. for years, give or take a book or two, It’s one of my favorite things in my house. It’s a cheap piece of furniture from Target that I’ve had since my early twenties. The furniture doesn’t hold value for me. It’s the sentiment I have placed on its shelves and how, if someone were sharing this life with me, I would probably have to change that bookshelf. I would have to rearrange it to make room for their precious volumes, for their beloved knick-knacks. They may even want to discard the shelf altogether (it does have a broken shelf). So I tell myself it’s better off if I didn’t, if I don’t, if I’m not…if I’m just me, myself and I.
I sincerely believe that there is still a person out there for me. I believe there is someone who will accept all that I have to give them with gratitude and grace. I believe there is someone who can laugh off the bad times in a relationship, because the good is so very worth it. I believe there is someone who will be able to stand up under the strength and revel in the depth of my love.
I believe there is someone who will travel with me and enjoy all the amazing bits of life that are found in ‘elsewhere’. I believe there is someone who can put up with me and my cat. Who would find my slightly melancholy, yet humor-honey dipped core endearing and laugh off my attempts at self-depreciation. I believe there is someone who would take the time to dust off the bookshelf with me and assess why I’m so attached to the damn thing.
But right now, that someone is me and I’m late for a coffee date.