September 29, 2010 § 1 Comment
Forgive me for going down the relationship-road again, this evening… but, as I struggle a little bit to define for myself what it is that I’m here for, I can’t help but feel like the issue of solitude/friendships/relationships/companionship/etc… is very much a part of it all.
Not too long ago, I came across an article written for parents of newly-bound college students, cautioning them against telling their fleeing nest that college is going to be the best time of their lives. The article stated that, while – yes, it will be the best time of their life, the expectations of this, the pressure and possibly the let down of them being homesick or lonely or whatever, may in fact be more burdensome for their child than helpful.
And, lets face it – it so totally IS the best time of your life, but the bar’s not all that amazingly high ya know.
Ok, so I might just be a tad cranky right now – but it’s only cause I have a pounding headache and I think I might be getting sick (… as pretty much EVERYONE was sneezing on me in class today). Yes, it’s turned around THAT fast 🙂
But, getting back to what I was saying… There was a time in my life when I was convinced that my only modus operandi was – being glued to the hip of another human being. So much so, that not only did my behavior probably leave me to perpetuate this myth, but I was rather terrified of the fact that somehow the universe would not let me ever test the alternative – that no matter how much I tried, I would always find myself needing and wanting and in the midst of human contact.
Then, an interesting thing happened – I discovered that I really didn’t need anybody. Not to be happy, not to be productive, not to be successful … not even for ‘the most stubbornest of jars’ (… to quote here a little 🙂 And at first, what a relief of a discovery! ... this meant all kinds of mental freedoms. It meant being able to date and make friends and whatever else, without having to worry about unnecessary attachments. Finally, I felt like I could live my life in parallel with everyone else, rather than seek to be rooted and anchored in unnecessary loyalties.
However, somewhere between a much needed discovery and the devastating, yet meditative, seclusion of a nunnery – is where I seem to have found myself today… Almost on the cusp, it seems of a place in my life where I can’t imagine going back.
When is it that I became this comfortable with silence and/or a conversation with myself? When exactly did I decide that procrastinating alone is much more enjoyable than doing it in a group? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m unhappy… it is precisely the opposite. Somehow I have found happiness with myself and only myself.
And found myself wondering whether I should fight it…
I mean, yes, i hear what everyone is saying… you’re in Europe, make sure to have a blast… hmm, well, I assure you I am!
But, what exactly does a 28 year old Masters student blast look like?
If I’m going to be studying a lot (which, good lord, after today it is official apparent that… I am! ) I can only really study-well, alone… at least when it comes to the first pass.
But what else? What am I missing? Should I be out drinking myself more sick at the kick-off party right now…? Should I be feeling the urge to spend all of my free time with my new classmates, even when the extent of these interactions so far involve following each other to various errand destinations? Should I feel guilty for wanting to make dinner at home instead of grabbing a bite out at a random restaurant?
The thing is, if I were working abroad instead of studying, I feel like I would question this less… of course, I wouldn’t be questioning anything – I would be working!! And, occasionally having lunch with co-workers and maybe a beer or two after a big project and a cool trip every few months over the weekend. So the question becomes, am I allowed to have the same kind of attitude now? Or, do I somehow need to turn into a real student?
A part of me wants to… a part of me feels like I need to, who the hell is this person that I’ve become anyway?! Where is ‘I need to be around someone 24/7 me?!’ … I kind of miss her, she had no idea what she liked, but she LOVED everything that everyone else liked – no wonder it was so much fun spending every hour of every waking day with someone else. Now, I’m just slightly bored at the first sign of apparent differences… But, to give her some credit i guess, she did have a gift… she really genuinely liked almost everyone. They had so much conviction, knew what they liked and didn’t seem to need anybody – not even her. How I wanted to be that person – and here I am. Crap.
But honestly, as much as I enjoying being alone and very rarely find myself needing to tag along with someone just for the sake of extra limbs – I feel like I’m getting to a point where I need to be careful and it’s this concern with spending the next year studying away in my studio, that is making me seriously consider what the appropriate balance of the situation is.
What should a 28 year old working gal be focusing on in a ‘Back to School’, year abroad scenario… What’s this fun that everyone so wants me to have? Honestly, I just want permission to bust ass… but I would hardly call that fun! or social! or abroad!
And I know what you’re thinking, why do you even need permission – have you learning nothing?!
I know, I know… I don’t need permission, but I really do want to make the right choice here. So, maybe just a few words of wisdom.. … got any?