Rum Raisin ice cream smiles

I think the scariest part about being single is when I realize how much I enjoy being single because I realize how less than motivated I am to be with anyone and then… one day I might end up old and alone? And then what? I’d be…. HAPPY????

I think we – not as in ‘the royal we,’ but in the sense of ‘most of us’ given that I know that some of you people out there in blogland and beyond may not agree – spend so much of our lives worrying about being with ‘the one’ or finding ‘the one’ or questioning whether ‘the one’ we are with is the right ‘one’ that we are really avoiding looking at what (might be) the real truth, which is… that perhaps we actually ENJOY being by ourselves more than being with anyone else? And if/when you realize that, that can be a scary thought (unless you’re one of those amazing people who really ARE happy and single and proud. (What are you? A nun or something?)

I’m not saying I don’t enjoy people. Far from it. I find people fascinating. I am intensely curious about how other people’s minds work. And whenever I think I’ve got it figured out, I love how people always surprise me by throwing me curveballs. “Oh, Cindy is soooo anal retentive. She can’t handle not being in control all of the time.” And then Cindy shows ME wassup by going with the flow better than yours truly on the first day of her monthlies. However, sometimes other people’s minds are too much. When I walk along the beach, I am the one tempted to walk farther away than the rest of the crowd walking along the preordained path. I’m always happier ten steps behind or away from the crowd. I like being near the crowd, just not smack dab in the middle of it.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Maybe some of you out there don’t agree with me, but I’ve met a lot of people who seem to be on the same page. Both longing for social connection and also completely fucking exhausted by it.

The only time I ever get scared being alone is…

  • When I try to imagine spending a LOT of time alone. (So my solution is: don’t think about it and generally I don’t. And I’m fine.)
  • (Solution? Turn on a light. Turn on some comedy. Call someone. Take a bath. Write.)
  • When I see some (apparently) happy couple out and about either a) shopping together, b) strolling together in a park, c) pulling up to a fast food joint and ordering together, d) dropping their kids off at school together, e) sitting and holding hands at a wedding/funeral together, f) walking down the street in (pretty much) matching outfits together, and g) sitting silently but seemingly content at a restaurant because they have spent so many years together that thoughts travel via ESP back and forth across the table…together. (And my solution to being jealous of happy couples? Don’t look at ‘em. Or, better yet, feel pity for them because they’re probably miserable. Noooooo, I’m not that horrible. Just… lie to yourself and tell yourself you’re happy for them. Okay, done!)

I don’t know what the answer is except… just… get over it and be happy with wherever you’re at. No matter what. At least you can breathe and you’re (hopefully) not in too much pain at this moment in time. That’s enough to be happy about. That and a pint of Rum Raisin ice cream. Time to go to the stoooooooorrrreee!!!

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Ferris wheel dangling

I compare everything to when I was a little kid.

I’m pretty sure the happiest I ever was… on a consistent basis… was when I was a kid. Maybe like 7 or so. Yup, that was the best time.

It’s not that I’m not happy now. Most of the time I’m pretty happy but the time of my life was when I would go to bed happy and wake up happy. I used to lay in bed and catalogue all of the wonderful things that had happened that day and then in the morning I would wake up very excited about what the day would bring. The sheer fact that I had no clue what it would bring is what made me even more excited. And now?

Hmmm…. Not to be pessimistic, but it’s not quite the same. Still, I have my moments.

Most of the time my time is spent either taking care of students, my kids, my family and friends, and myself. And not in that order necessarily. Taking care. Yup. In fact, I just realized…. That is pretty much how I end every conversation, “Take care!” Oh my god!! I’m so terrible. Maybe that’s some kind of subliminal message. Maybe what I’m really saying is that I’m tired of taking care of other people, so I’m trying to persuade other people to take care of themselves????!!! Aghgghghghhghghg!!!! But when I was a kid, I didn’t have all those responsibilities. It was just me and my imagination and my family and a few friends and my cats and dogs and chickens. That was it. and I wasn’t taking care of them really. Just enjoying them. Not that ‘taking care’ is separate from ‘enjoying’ necessarily…. It’s just…. different. There’s a level of responsibility that comes with ‘taking care.’ Not much time to just…. Be.

But I’m getting better at that. Just being. And I’m realizing that if I don’t take care of me first and finding time to just ‘be,’ then there is less and less enjoyment in all the other things that I do. And yes, I know I’ve said this before but GOD ALMIGHTY IF I DON’T SAY IT A FEW TIMES I TEND TO FORGET AND GO RIGHT BACK TO NOT TAKING GOOD CARE OF MYSELF FIRST.

And here’s the other thing. The little things. I am an obsessive watcher of ‘school of life’ youtube videos. The latest one is about taking pleasure in the ‘little things’ because essentially our lives are frequented more by smaller moments of joy than just huge moments of joy (e.g. promotion, lottery, getting married, having a baby, traveling to exotic countries) and so if you learn to slow down and savor more of the little moments of pleasure hour by hour then the cumulative effect of pleasure/joy is much greater. And so, in keeping with that philosophy, today I have made a change.

I no longer care about finding ‘the one.’ If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then I’m still going to enjoy moment by moment the little things.

I’m not saying this to be heavy and serious. I’m saying this because it’s true. I’m just done. Fucking done. Fuck circumstances. Fuck it. Fuck polyamory. Fuck open relationships. Fuck long distance relationships. Fuck it. Fuck movies that inspire romantic nonsense that you’re only going to be happy if someone is hanging from a ferris wheel and being willing to drop dead if you don’t go out on a date with them. I want to get back to that happy girl I once was who woke up in the morning excited to just be alive. I wasn’t excited because I would find Mr. Prince Charming that day. I was just excited. I wanted life to surprise me and it did. I didn’t have huge fucking expectations. That’s who I want to be again. And if you’ve found someone, that’s fucking awesome! That’s amazing! I don’t mean to take that away from you. I’m just saying…. I’m going to start enjoying my life right now as it is whether or not anyone else ever comes along for the ride.