It’s quiet. They’re gone. It’s just me, a glass of pinot grigio and my laptop.
I do love my kids, so very much. And yes, I often miss them when they aren’t here.
But also, I so very much love my time alone.
I love the quiet. No interruptions. Following my own rhythm through the moments, the days. No one to cook for, no argument to resolve. Yes, I very much like my time alone.
But it is more than that. More than a craving for the previous, pre-kid life when my life revolved around, well, me. It’s more than that.
It’s more than being tired after years of sleepless nights with littles.
It’s more than being bored of preparing multiple meals a day.
It’s more than a need for a reprieve.
Yes, this pull to be alone is much more than all that.
I think I’m different than many, but not all. It is our society that tells us that being alone is wrong, unfulfilling, something only one would want should they be damaged goods.
50 year anniversaries are what we’re taught to aspire to. Forever. Happily ever after. Always.
But I never wanted those things. Forever didn’t sound good to me. I was pretty sure I would change my mind about this, that and the other thing sometime between now and forever. How could I commit to happily ever after? How could I know today, or 10 years ago for that matter, what I would want every day after?
All I knew that I could depend on, all I knew to be true, was that I would be forever with my own damn self. That I would be spending every day, every moment, with me.
And that kind of forever, well it gets me all a-flutter. That kind of always feels juuuuuuust right.
I want my life to be my own. I want my days to be filled with my priorities, my dreams. I want to read when I want to and do the dishes later. I want to feed the kids cereal again and eat yet another bowl of kitchari. I want to be first in line. I want to be my own number one.
I know when I do this, I am filled with more joy.
I know when I do this, I have more energy.
I know when I do this, I mother a thousand times better than before.
It’s not easy, in a world of couple-privilege, to choose to be alone. To tell the world, no, I do not want a husband. And yes, I do own this house.
No, they don’t need a step-dad. And yes, I’m rocking this on my own. Thank you very much.
Because I got this, this alone thing.
It’s everything I always wanted.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love, that my time is so preciously mine that there’s no space for friendship and romance and community.
In fact, my life is FULL. Really full.
I’ve got good people. Ones to laugh with. Ones to call in need. Ones to help and ones to care for. I’ve got people, same as I’ve always had people.
And now I can love them the way I’m meant to. Now I can give them my best.
Because my best only shows up when I follow my own rhythm, when I make my own moves.
My best comes from the quiet, the solitude, the rest.
My best comes from the afternoon reading, the lonely kayak down the river, the hour on the deck with wine and my laptop.
I’m meant to be alone. It is not something I wish could be different. It is something I chose.
A beautifully written piece, thank you for sharing something so private and honest. Not fitting the “societal expectation” can often make individuals feel anxious. Only when brave individuals like you start to express themselves, can the rest of muster the bravery to say, “this is who I am.”
Thank you Parrish.
Thank you, Lisa. What you say is so very true. It’s hard to choose to live outside of societal expectations, even harder to announce it to the world. I hope my piece can help other women (and men) feel a tiny bit more confident making choices that are right for them. We have this one life, may we feel free to live it in a way that is right for us as individuals.
Inspiring! Thank you for sharing. I am amazed at how in tune you are with your purpose, your needs and wants. You have such a beautiful soul and a powerful positive energy. The people and communities around you are very lucky to have you!
I feel this. I too chose sola, though it was less a choice than a necessity. And I am grateful, every day, that I could, and can. Well done, for choosing yourself. You, and the world, are better for it, because now you can give more of yourself than you ever could if it were taken, instead of freely given.
Thank you Rae. With every day/week/month that passes I feel like I have more to give to the world because I have given myself the opportunity to live in my truth.
Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing. I feel the same way sometimes. I got my fix when travelling without the family. It’s very liberating to do things alone! We all need to learn this skill. Keep up the great work!
Travelling is one of my absolute favourite things!! I’m really glad you got the chance to do that this year. <3