Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Talk, Talk

I was at home last night, attempting to unpack the mountain of boxes sitting beside my bed, when it hit me: I'm alone. Sure, physically I was alone. It didn't take an epiphany for me to figure that out. It was the other side of the alone coin that I ran head-first into: Lonely.

There's a huge difference between lonely and alone. Alone is freeing. Alone is unencumbered. Alone is quiet and comfortable and necessary from time to time. You choose to be alone, and you choose when you've had enough of it. Lonely is another beast entirely. There's no choice, no control in lonely. Correct me if I'm wrong, but generally, people don't choose to be lonely, it just happens. I've said before that I prefer to be alone - live alone, dance alone, eat alone - but I despise being lonely.

And being lonely has nothing to do with being single. It has nothing to do with whether or not I have a man I can run to. Because I've had a man and been lonely at the exact same time. This has more to do with not knowing anyone who knows me.

I have a general demeanor of calm, cool and collected around my friends. I don't show up to parties pissed off, I don't cry at bars, and although I'll lament about my man troubles (or lack thereof) I shrug it off, giving the impression that it may have bothered me enough to talk about it, but not enough to cry about it. But it's so not true. I'm a big ol' faker. I look my friends in the eye and tell them that I'm fine, when really all I want to do is go home, listen to some sad music and weep. And they believe me when I say I'm fine, because I would never let on that I feel otherwise.

Because I appear to have no issues of my own, my friends see me as their therapist. It is my job to listen to and subsequently solve their problems. Most times, I'm thrilled with the duty I've been assigned. I love that they trust me and my opinion enough to share with me their deepest, darkest secrets. I'm flattered and honored that they choose me to come to when they need help. But after conversation upon conversation where I find myself only nodding and listening, not offering anything of my own, I just want to scream, Hey, what about me? Don't you want to ask if I'm okay? If I'm doing alright now that I'm single? If I'm happy in my new house? If anything is bothering me? But then I remind myself, that if they asked me any of these questions, I'd lie right through my teeth and say "I'm fine. I'm happy being single. I love my new place. Everything is great."

But everything is not fine. I hate being single. It saddens me that I spent over three years with a guy who ultimately didn't want me. I don't understand how I could be with one man who would give anything to spend his life with me, and then give him up for a man who would give me up to be free. It's true that I love my new house, but I have no one to share it with. And I'd kill for someone to ask me how I am, and really want to hear the answer - Most people I know just ask me out of courtesy. I can see them waiting for me to get through with my shit so we can move onto theirs. So I hurry through tidbits about me, and get to what they want to say. And so I wish I had never given them the impression I was fine, because now I can't take it back. I wish I wasn't so terrified of looking weak. I wish I wasn't so resistant to advice. I feel like I'm bursting with things to talk about, but no one to talk to.

Sunday night I only slept for two hours. After watching both Jerry Maguire and Mermaids, crying into my crisp white pillowcase, and staring my ceiling, I realized that I just needed to talk. My first instinct was to call my ex, but I pushed that thought away, refusing to rely on old crutches to heal new wounds. Then I thought of calling my mom, but I didn't want to wake her, or bother her with my "problems" that, in the grand scheme of things, aren't that big. A weekend without internet access prevented me from writing here, and I guess that's what did it to me. I had nowhere to just talk (or type, as it were) about myself without worrying if I really should be listening to someone else instead.

So to whoever reads this, allowing me to maintain my sanity: Thank you.


Scoot said...

You're very welcome. ;)

veach st. glines said...

I don't want to sound patronizing or cliched (which is not easy when commenting on a state which everyone over the age of able-to-feel-lonely is familiar) but I will, rather, point you at two wonderful women (an odd thing to do, I know). This woman has a perspective which is a tad more pessimistic and this woman has a optimistic-realistic perspective.

Why am I referring you to others? Well. Mostly because I'm a man who has been in the shoes of BOTH of your ex's in one past decade or another of my life.

But I REALLY enjoy the way you express yourself.

Brian said...

No, thank you...

I feel the same way about prefering to have my time to myself, but then I just feel so lonely when there isn't anyone I can really open up to. Right now I am aching for a therapist type person like you are to your friends. Maybe we could help eachother out, heh.. I am a good listener ;)

anyway, I hope this lenghty post helped to relieve some of that emotional stress you were feelin over the weekend.

mermaid14118337 said...

I read your blog and want to cry. I DON'T CARE HOW LATE, YOU CAN ALWAYS CALL ME.................I WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU! You can count on me!!!!!!!!!

NJ said...

After reading this post I realize that I can't write worth a turd. Thank you for writing and remember, don't hold back.

Laurie said...

Thank you all so much! You've made my day!