What are you most afraid of? You know what I’m talking about – the one fear that grips you so tightly, you lose your breath. Yes, that one…. being ALONE.
Lately, all I’ve heard about is this person or that person is willing to do anything and everything to not be alone. Person A is moving to the Carolinas with her unfaithful boyfriend so that she’s not alone. Person B took back her unreliable techie husband, but has a boyfriend on the side so that she certainly won’t be alone. Person C would rather stay in a status quo relationship than to be alive…. and alone.
I don’t get it. It’s being alone, people – not being dragged off and hanged at the crack of dawn!
When you think about it, what is it that makes us so fearful of being alone? Is it because we don’t want to be alone in the house? Is it because we don’t want to feel alone in this world? Or is it because we don’t want to be alone with ourselves?
I am single. I’ve been single for almost two years and I have two young children. I raise them by myself. It’s not easy, but dammit, I do it and it gets done.
Yes, I did the afraid-to-be-alone dance just like everyone else. I was right there in those shoes. However, at a certain point, I could no longer put myself through those moments where I genuinely questioned what the hell I was doing with my life. My philosophy is that we have but this one life. It will end, but how are we going to choose to live it?
For many years, I did what I thought I was supposed to do in our society. I went to college, got a job, got married, and had kids. Along the way, I lost myself. I lost who I was. I looked in the proverbial mirror one day and did not know who was staring back at me. I wasn’t happy in my marriage, but Society said that I should stay married, so I suppressed those feelings. Time went on and suddenly, more than a decade passed me by. I could no longer do it. Society forgot to include in the instruction manual, “Make sure you are happy.”
Sheryl Crow’s “Home” -
“I woke this morning,
to the sound of breaking hearts.
Mine is full questions
and it’s tearing yours apart.
This is home…”
When I first heard this song, I thought immediately – oh, that’s me. It haunted me. Life marched past that girl. She looked around after a while and wondered, what the heck happened? I knew all those emotions. I didn’t want that to be me twenty years down the line. So, I made one of the hardest decisions ever.
To sum up that period of time, it was one of the worst things that I ever went through….. but I got through it.
Was it difficult? Yes. I felt judged most of the time, especially as a woman. But something I feared more than Society’s judgement was REGRET. To have days, years, decades pass me by without doing any of the things I longed for in my heart, was too much to bear. I wanted my daughter to see a woman who was happy… strong… and full of the magic of life. Because in my mind, I knew that who I was, would determine whom she would be.
After my marriage ended, I still suffered from that fear of being alone. I started a new life with an amazing, charismatic guy. But after some time, I realized it was going to be more of the same… and all my fears took hold of me again. All of them swirled around me once more. I didn’t know if I could do it another time!
But one day, something clicked. Everything that I had been working on inside me, came together in a perfect way and in one beautiful jump off the cliff, I had the courage to free myself.
Yes, I said “free myself.” I was a prisoner of my irrational fear of being alone. And oh what I endured to not be alone.
The first several months of being alone were difficult in that I was transitioning from having some help around the house to having zero help around the house. After a while though, I hit my stride. I saw the beauty of my situation. I stopped internally labeling myself as “single” and instead, considered myself “free!”
Someone tried to console me recently by saying that I was a great person and I wouldn’t be alone for much longer. I asked myself, what’s wrong with being alone? Nothing at all. I get to do as I please without catching unreasonable hell from someone.
What I’ve learned on my journey is that freedom to guide my own course is precious to me. I’ve also learned that people who are married don’t have all the answers and being married isn’t an answer. Would I like to have companionship? Of course. I’d like them to not mess up my kitchen and go home later though. Would I get married again? Maybe. I won’t rule it out. Do I get lonely? Sure. I’m human. But as far as what I do with my life, I’m not enslaved by a fear of being alone. In fact, being free empowers me. I am alive inside and out. I am full of love for others and myself. But most importantly to me, I decide my destiny happily and freely.
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