On Being Alone
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The other night I was surprised to realize that for most of my life after I left my parents I’ve lived with someone: either a lover or a friend. That I took the later so much for granted is probably why the fact was essentially invisible to me.
I tend to think of myself as a loner. I greatly value quiet time, privacy, emotional space for myself. But I’ve never lacked for that even when living with someone else. When you are with the right people you can enjoy your own company even if another is nearby.
But someone was normally at hand when the mood shifted. Someone to share a movie with, to start chatting idly with. The privacy could be abolished at any appropriate moment by either of us speaking a word.
And I’ve come to appreciate something that escaped me in my long distance relationship: the foreknowledge of a future visit is more comforting that you realize. You may be alone, even feeling lonely but the sureness that it is only temporary leaves you very much at peace with it.
That lack of actual or expected companionship is some of what leaves me feeling restless and frustrated. However much I relish silence and privacy I need an intimate sharing.