I have been coming down from the high of being with family all week long, for nine days straight. Uninterrupted time with my mother, father, sister, brother in law, niece, nephew, and daughter. Last night, I puttered and settled back into my home, and got my cat acquainted with her new digs. And, at about midnight, I felt the aloneness.
Mind you, last night the aloneness did not feel melancholy. It felt like the reality, yet not fully sad. It just was. I missed my family, my daughter especially, yet I didn’t feel waves of sadness, just missing. To cope, I slept on the living room floor, in front of the television, with my kitty exploring and purring by my head on and off all night. I woke up feeling ready for my day. Still alone, but okay.
Alone doesn’t mean lonely to me today. It feels a bit odd at certain moments, when it seems like it would be so great to have a loved one right at my side as I run my errands, make a meal or go for a walk. Yet, it passes. I feel a longing, and then, I embrace my moment and enjoy where I am at and what I am doing. I am not swimming in the melancholy today; I am enjoying me, who I am and who I am becoming.
It has not always been that way for me, by any means. I have always dreaded being by myself. Sure, I would pass the time while the sun was up, keeping myself busy with puttering and errands. Then, when the darkness came, I would embrace it and hide in it. Sometimes, booze helped me to stay there. Sometimes, my own feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, based in fear, would keep me there. It became a familiar feeling, almost like it made me more admirable to sit in that sadness.
Today, I know that feeling sad in and of itself is not a bad thing. I felt sad yesterday saying goodbye to my sister and her family; I felt sadness when I said goodbye to my parents the day before; and I felt deep sadness yesterday afternoon when I said goodbye to my daughter, who I will not see for a few days. And, I appreciated that sadness, yet didn’t feel the need to sit and dwell in it. I felt it, let it pass through me, and then felt whole, inspired, loved and loving.
Alone doesn’t mean lonely to me today. It means that I am learning how to be comfortable in this skin, appreciate who I am and build up my strength and determination to go after all that is most meaningful. In being alone today, I feel on my way to wholeness.