Shhhh… It’s a Secret
It’s hard sometimes, being lonely. Solitude is one thing. Lonliness is a totally different animal all together. Often I will seek out reasons to be with people just so I don’t feel like so much of a loser. I have to watch out for that some, though, because it’s easy to ruin special times with things like activity or having other people around.
I realized that about a month ago in the midst of an extremely busy period of time at work. All of the good shows on tv had had their finales and were replaced by the crap the networks think will be summer hits. So I did something I rarely ever do; I turned off the tv and enjoyed the quiet. What a concept! I also spent some time doing other things that I had forgotten to take time out for. Simple things. “Me” things. I won’t even mention what they were here for no other reason than the fact that keeping it to myself helps make it that little bit more special.
This past weekend as we drove back from Live 8, my car mates and I played one of those discussion games where you ask questions like, “What fictional character do you identify with the most and why?” One of the questions, I don’t remember who posed it, was, “What is your favorite word and why?” Without having to think about it too much I said that mine was the word moment. There’s just so much possibility in that word, so much potential for meaning for those that are able to be a part of it. It speaks of not just a period of time when something happened but deeper than that it describes an event or segment of life that is particularly significant – personally or otherwise. It’s unique. Special.
One of the things I need to keep reminding myself of is the fact that moments can take place when I’m all alone if I let them. I don’t have to be with others, necessarily, to have a real moment. A saying I like that I think I came up with (though I could be wrong) is: “Life can be filled with minutes or it can be filled with moments. Choose.” Too often I find that I’m living based on my schedule – with work, the tv lineup, just trying to get from weekend to weekend – and I don’t leave myself open enough to really experience the moments that could be. It’s a shame, really. And I hope I can let myself get over that hurdle.
I was struggling with this whole concept recently and was tempted to invite some people to spend some time with me. I wasn’t convinced that I should because it is easy to let time get in the way. Whether it’s remembering how short a span of time we’ll have or how long the drive home is or how late it will be when finished the special time with friends can sometimes get lost in the details of the life that’s going on around us. It’s more difficult to just be.
I took my vacation back in March, over St. Patrick’s Day, to travel to London and Northern Ireland (you can read about it on my website). I tried to get some friends to come along because I’ve had so much fun traveling with friends on SAS. I wasn’t able to find anyone who was able to afford it and/or take the time off to go with me. So, I decided to go by myself. It would be my own personal adventure. And, ya know what? I don’t think I would have enjoyed it in the same way or on so many levels if I had gone with someone else. Sure, It would’ve been amazing but I was able to be a little bit more free and flexible than I would’ve been if someone else were with me.
Another factor goes back to a conversation I had about a year or so ago. When talking with someone about being ready to perhaps buy a house within the next 3-5 years she was shocked that I could be in a place where I’m ready for that. Especially since I haven’t met anyone yet. My response to that – along with why I’m willing to travel or go to the movies or anything else alone – is that I have to live my life. I can’t put everything I want to do, and in some ways feel like I need to do, on hold until I have that special someone in my life. Yes, I would love more than anything else to meet her and share all those things that I currently do alone. But the truth is, I am alone. And I need to be able to do things that make me happy, even if sometimes that means going solo. And I have found, with my vacation and with the simple act of going to the movies, that being alone can be fulfilling too.
So, as I enter the weekend I look towards the coming days with a discerning eye that I might find those moments that are possible. Even if they are just for me.