Ahhh, yes… Being single. The dread that enters a person’s veins when they realize for the first time, “Fuck! I may in fact die alone.” It’s not a good feeling. Like, at all. In fact, I’d categorize that feeling as terrifying. So, do you go out, get a new dude or gal, and start jumping into that endless game of expectations again? Do you attempt one more time to find a person who might make you feel not so lonely?
There is this rather awful scene in the film, “PS, I love you,” where the mother (played Kathy Bates) is talking to her daughter (played by Hilary Swank) about how we are always alone. That no matter what goes on in our lives, we will always go back to being alone. I stared at the screen during that scene, extremely angry with Kathy Bates and her scripted lines. “Not true!” I yelled at the screen so frustrated with such a blatant lie.
And yet, it’s not really a lie, is it? We are alone. To an extent, what we experience cannot truly be duplicated. Our feelings, our natures, our culture cannot be put into a blender and recreated. Yes, some of our nature, some of our culture, and all of our feelings, have been felt before. But never in this pattern. Never in this way. For all intents and purposes, we really are alone. Fucking. Scary.
So, what’s a single person, or hell, a person who makes up a couple (or more) to do? Well, shit Sherlock, how about just live? Huh? How about you stop whining about how “alone” you feel, and look around at the good that still exists, because no matter how “alone” you feel, there are still over six billion other people who feel just as you do. There are still over six billion other folks terrified of living alone, let alone (ha) dying alone. Alone. Alone. Alone. Get used to saying it, and get over it.
I’m not trying to be a bitch. Okay, so I am. But it’s because there comes a time when being alone isn’t about being scared; being alone is about embracing the freedom that lives within and without yourself. You are a small blip on the map of existence, but you matter! Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you don’t exist. Family. Friends. Loved ones. They feel it, too. No matter is they are tied in an endless ritual of marriage, coupledom, or other force of humanity that helps us feel less alone, they too feel it sometimes. It creeps up on them. They forget the feeling, and then it hits them. They too, feel alone.
It’s not that they aren’t getting enough love, it’s not that their children, husband, or wife aren’t enough. It’s that in this life, we really are alone. But, the real question, “Is it a bad thing to be alone?” i was always told yes. In fact, I remember being pulled from my classroom one day, and put into a weekly meeting to address my antisocial behaviors (I liked to read). They saw me sitting on my own, enjoying being alone, and they saw it as a bad thing.
Now, 20 years later, I understand why. People fear that feeling. They fear never having connection that lasts. But they lose something amazing in trying to build as many connections as possible. They lose themselves in an abundance of fibrous connections. I have connections. I have family. I have love. I have friends. I have an amazing life. But, I often feel alone. I’ve learned that being single is a gift because I’ve had to come to terms with myself. I’ve had to ask myself some extremely tough questions about who I am, and where I am going. I’ve had to compromise my ideas in secret conversations, and admit that the lies I tell to the world I cannot tell to myself behind closed doors. Being alone has made me more honest. Being alone has made me more me. Being alone has allowed me to love myself, and to recognize that love comes in many different forms. Connections come in many different forms. And the modern world has made the mistake of assuming that the connections we have within are less important than the connections we have without.