on being single.

I thought I was going to sleep, but the ocean in my head had different ideas and next thing I knew, I was swimming in crashing waves and coughing the thoughts out.  I process myself best in picture/word combos, so here are the words I feel and some pictures I’ve taken over the years that resonate with the feeling.
I’ve never been single for any length of period in my whole life. My patten has always been relationship-breakup-heartbreak-relationship. Not even rebounds, just finding someone I could love as soon as my heart scabbed over from the loss before.  I never had any desire or want to be single. Admittedly, my favorite part of being in a relationship is figuring out those little ways I can cause light to fill my Love’s face. I love being the one to make someone else’s life better in some measure.  But recently, I went through a breakup that left me perplexed. I found that I didn’t want anybody else, but I also knew that where we were headed wasn’t the right way to go (or at least, we took a few wrong turns and the directions needed to be relearned.)
I started spending 90% of my time alone. At first, it was unintentional. Wanting to not break down publicly or “talk about it”, or worse of all, be hit on and have to turn someone down with no excuse at all, besides “I just don’t want to.”, I started going everywhere with my headphones on. Sometimes I wouldn’t even play music, but I would pretend, and even if I heard someone call my name, I would continue on as if I hadn’t heard them. Eventually it became habit. I went hiking. A lot. Hours every day, spent exploring paths alone and figuring how far I could go, both physically and in my own growth.
I found, surprisingly, that I supremely enjoyed my own company. I always laughed at my own jokes, and was content to sit in comfortable silence with myself, no obligation to fill silence for the comfort of someone else. I liked my commentary on things. Somewhere along the way, I became someone I actually liked. What a realization, coming from a girl who used to specialize in self-loathing.
As the days wear on, I have my ups and downs. Some days I feel invincible, that I could do anything, and other times it’s as if I don’t exist to anyone at all, not really. Invisible. What a difference a few letters makes. I’m determined to learn from this season, and be grateful for the bright spots, but somethings make it really hard for me to be single.
I never can get used to sleeping alone. When I was a kid, I always preferred the couch to my bed because I could turn on the TV and fill the room with people who didn’t worry themselves with the monsters inside my head and helped me distract myself from them, too. I still do that, allowing the characters to keep me company while I drift to dreams, but now it has the added benefit of the back of the couch doubling as a substitute for a warm body. I can just back right up against it and smother myself with blankets and if I really pretend hard enough, I picture myself not alone in bed.
Lacking a significant other to occupy the attention of my hands, I find myself touching people in inappropriately intimate ways, not sexually, but emotionally. Touching shoulders and cheeks, brushing hair back from faces of people I barely know and maintaining eye contact for a little too long, searching for the connection that my life is so missing. I wake up stroking my own arm with my fingers, gliding back and forth and causing goosebumps to appear quickly and then go back as if they were ashamed to have been evoked by a ghost.  I miss the feel of human skin on my face and I satiate this by doing strange things like eating dried apples, biting all the Way through and getting some sort of pleasure from the texture.
I feel like a have a million different facets and I have to tend to all of them.
I feel at once alone, And completely whole.
You know how there are people eat bubble gum, but rush through the sugary start, chewing frantically so it gets the right consistency to blow bubbles, but as soon as that happens, the realize they miss the flavor? I don’t want to miss the sweetness of being with myself to rashly get the part where I feel outwardly useful and flashy.
I’m not ready yet to swell up, expand, and explode, but when I am, trust me, you’ll know.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. chancelys says:

    Hey, you do you girl! We love you more then anything. It makes me ecstatic to hear that you are starting to love your self as much as everyone else does.

    We love you and can’t wait to give you a big squeeze next time we see you.

    Love you!!

    1. I love the 4 of you so much. Can’t wait to see you! ❤

  2. R says:

    You’re empty. It’s obvious. To me, it seems you’re constantly looking for something new instead of cultivating what you already have. Just remember – new things get old, too. After the sparks fade, you’re left with only the memory of a feeling and the desire for the next best thing. Until you can learn to fully accept yourself and realize there are other forms of happiness, you’ll continue to drift back into these moments. It seems there’s a magnitude of people who love and think of you often, but you’ve left most of them behind, not even acknowledging their existence and the impact they made in your life (and yours in theirs).

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, anonymous. What I’ve gathered from this is:

      A: You think that you’ve got me all figured out, despite clearly not being close to me (as any of my real friends know I’m a phone call/text away, and any concerns they have can be taken up with me directly)

      B: You have no knowledge of just want happened in my situation or what road led me to singleness. It was most certainly not a “spark” fading. Again, we are obviously not close.

      C: You didn’t really read what I wrote. Or rather, you read what you wanted to read. This was a triumph. A realization that I’m happy with myself and happy with who I am. This wasn’t me saying I’m longing for a relationship, it was me acknowledging the parts of a relationship I miss while also realizing that I’m happy alone. Basically, exactly what you just wrote that I needed to “learn.” I did! It’s all up there! In words and sentences! I said the same thing you did, just more eloquently.

      D: I’ve left no one behind. Any person who is not in my life at this juncture, is not in my life of their own accord. I hold no grudges and I’ve fully forgiven any grievances against me and most days, have forgiven myself for the hurt I’ve inflicted in the past upon others. I have not been a perfect human, but I’ve tried my hardest to make things right with anyone I’ve done wrong. I can think of one. Chances are, you are that one, or associated.

      E: I find both pleasure and obligation in acknowledging those who have impacted my life. Anyone I love who feels otherwise is welcome to address this with me, and WOULD. It sounds to me like I’ve somehow offended you, anonymous, but as you choose to not reveal your name, there can be no healing and no forward motion, just a self-righteous comment and a hurt, sterile response. Do you feel like you’ve taught me something? Or revealed my “true nature” to the maybe 2 people who bother to read comments on my personal blog? Does it make you feel good to know that you’ve taken me down a notch, and that regardless of knowing I shouldn’t let it bother me, in some part of my brain, it does?

      I hope so.
      I won’t be afraid to share my thoughts because someone judges me from the past and feels like I’m not authentic enough.

      Here’s your impact on me: I’m going to eat a pint of ice cream and watch trash TV and comfort myself knowing there’s a special place in Hell for people who leave searing comments anonymously.
      And tomorrow, I will move forward.

      1. Matt says:

        Dear Allison. Somehow the way you described yourself (meta-physical) self that is, reminds me sort of myself minus the part of ever being in a relationship. I’m a male and am 22 and have never been in any type of relationship, i have never even had a first kiss or even held hands with someone i love. Its a sad but fascinating sense of never being involved with someone. I sometimes feel like I’m in a dream each and everyday and that all of this sadness is just a nightmare, and when i wake up each day the sadness manifest into actual tears of happiness. I try to find the beauty in life when we put obstacles in front of us to bring us back to those nightmares. Music is one relationship that i can always come back to, since it heals my soul and i play music in a band i find this misery to be short lived. For in times to which we feel like we disappear we not only are present but cognitive of all that remains and can change/or never be changed. Why would we want to change anything about ourselves when in fact we should be happy that this is us. We learn live and love. It’s like scar tissue that remains but slowly heals, but when i play music i get lost in emotion and it makes me forget all of those problems, for not only do i exude those emotions in music but the passion from playing music helps me to be a better person to myself. BTW that guy was just jealous of how real you were, some people just cant handle sincerity and honesty.

      2. Hey Matt, thanks for sharing your story. Music is such an amazing thing… to me, it’s proof magic exists. I can lose myself in song and almost never come back. I hope it continues to be magical for you, and I hope someday you find Love in another human that compares with that feeling ❤

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