Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Loneliness. It ain't for suckers.

I'm dog-sitting for two weeks for a woman I work with. We don't know each other all that well, this woman and I, however we share a name and have passed by each other in the hall and said hello nearly everyday for the last, I dunno, 6 or 7 years. (My God.) And when someone told her all about my situation (you know: divorce, living at my mother's, a room with no door, etc.), she thought I would be the perfect person 'cause why wouldn't I want someone's, anyone's, house to myself for two weeks?

Which is totally what I thought at first, too. A house to myself and all I have to do is care for these two tiny poodles? Easy peasy! Except then reality set in. Dogs require work. I mean, sure they're cute and they nap a lot and I'm not forced to make conversation, but there's also the walks (several of them during which I get pulled in two different directions 'cause God forbid we walk in tandem) and the picking up of not one but two shits (if not more), plus all the other crap that goes along with taking care of someone's animals. Suddenly I think I'd rather be at home in my doorless room.

(I guess it could be worse. They could be babies.)

(No offense if you have a baby. I'm sure he or she or it is adorable. I just wouldn't want to take care of a human baby for two weeks. Ya know?)

And on top of it all, get this: I'm. Fucking. Lonely.

This is so not supposed to be part of the plan. I'm supposed to be soaking up the solitude! Walking around in the buff! Watching terrible sitcoms and the Food Network for hours on end! I am not supposed to be lonely. I mean, I just don't do lonely. You got me? I'm an introvert (bordering recluse) and I recharge her battery by being ALONE.

But there you have it. I'm lonely. And it occurred to me: I've never not come home to someone. First my parents... then my husband... and then, you know, my parents again. (Except for a very brief 3-month stint of living in my own apartment when I was nineteen that I totally wouldn't have been able to afford had I lived there any longer and not moved north with a man who would eventually become my husband.) (But that's neither here nor there.)

And I'm wondering if this is what my life will be like when I eventually maybe someday move out of my mother's house and into a place of my own. And also, is this why I've been so happy? Because I've been surrounded by people both at home and at work to keep me in high spirits and feeling anything but lonely? And, if so, is the happiness a facade?

And all of the sudden I miss my husband! And I'm second-guessing myself! And wondering if it's all a HUGE MISTAKE! And abusing exclamation points!

I am nothing if not consistent in my foolishness.

So, I take a lot of deep breaths and remind myself that this too shall pass.

I have no plans to do anything stupid. I've made my decisions and despite current levels of loneliness I still believe they're the right ones, but... damn.

Being lonely... it kinda blows.


  1. I love living alone. I miss it. But like anything, living alone takes practice. You need to develop the habits that bring you in contact with other people, and places you feel comfortable being by yourself. One woman I once knew said, "When you live alone, you eat out a lot." But before you can do that, you need to find the places you like to eat alone.

    But, yeah, that first stretch of time, it does blow.

  2. Okay. First of all, stop abusing exclamation points. What about question marks? and quotation marks? Kidding! Relax.

    Being lonely does know what's worse? Feeling lonely when there ARE people around you.

  3. Agree with Zuyen...I was just looking at another blog and this person lives in New York City...8 million folks...and she is talking about what a lonely place it is. Lonely...all a state of mind.

  4. Ya know, at first, I was gonna say- how can you be lonely? Ya got two dogs? Right?
    But then I thought about you sitting on a couch with the un-cuddly stupid poodles surrounded by a pool of silence and darkness and empty expansive rooms and I thought- yeah, that could be lonely.
    Am I helping?

  5. uh. oh.
    It's been weeks and months and no Stephanie.

  6. ChristineJuly 25, 2011

    Where are YOU??? I miss you!!

  7. [...] It didn’t take me long after my last post to embrace the solitude of an empty apartment. I pretty much spent the last week of my dog-sitting [...]