In this time of Covid, a lot of us are realising how our home life affects us. We might be finding that the kids get on our nerves more, or that our partners irritate us beyond belief. Or you might be feeling grateful for the time it had made for you to be able to relax and spend time with those closest to you. For most of us, it’s a mixture of the two. But what about those who live alone?
I consider myself alone as I live with my (very) independent teen, who spends their time in their bedroom or with friends, resolutely ignoring me. I have no other adults around me and my family are far away. My friends are scattered, like seeds in the wind. So I have had to spend a lot of time on my own, alone – and sometimes lonely.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be alone. I have caught up with all those films and series that I’ve been wanting to watch for ages – when I lived with a partner there was always needing to be compromise; I felt like I shouldn’t watch back-to-back Superhero films, or documentaries on Serial Killers, surely there was something better I could do with my life? But now I can watch anything! I can sit in my pyjamas and not do my hair. I can eat ice cream from the tub and microwave popcorn without sharing (maybe with the teen). There are lots of things I can do, or not do, it is entirely up to me. No judgement.
I can sit in silence. Or I can listen to my music. I can chat to my cat or ignore a call. I can light candles and read books and take long baths and nobody bothers me. This is all great, right? I’m really selling to you the idea of solitude and eating a full pack of biscuits?
Last night I had a dream. It was a simple dream. The dream was that someone I loved smiled at me, kissed me and held me tight. That was it. So simple.
And I woke up remembering that feeling. I turned over in a big empty bed and thought about all the wonderful things that I could do today. I tried to forget that physical memory, the lingering feeling of safety, the smell of their neck, the warm blossom of happiness and love. The way I was looked at.
Then I got up. I tried to forget. I shook off the thought that maybe..just maybe…. I was missing something.
I went to the kitchen. I had a wonderful coffee and breakfast and I turned on the TV. It was too quiet without it.
How do you find living on your own? Do you yearn for physical contact? Do you talk to your pets? Are you lonely?