**WARNING! This post is blunt like a dull knife slowly slicing butter. Content is void of literary device and lacks poetic appeal. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK**
I spent years of my life hiding from it. I started young with no good reason. It started in high school when I went to school full time, was on the dance team and managed the wrestling team, but suddenly one job wasn’t enough. There were deficient moments. I was underachieving. I found two more companies to hire me, continued things at school, continued teaching Sunday School, and was a Relay for Life team captain. There was no excuse for it. Back then friends were easy to come by. In high school, friends are easy to meet because you have to sit with them in classes for a determined amount of time each day of the school year. Teenagers tend to do very little in the way of life – most don’t have kids and work very few hours and school is half of their social lives. The other half is consumed by friends met at school. But not me. I was always on the go.
The hustle and bustle continued into college when I enrolled in and earned 18-22 credits every semester. I started working a 12:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. job. I joined ROTC and fulfilled those commitments – including P.T. at 5:00 a.m. I joined Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) because volunteer hours were required for my major AND to keep my grant. I went to church and joined Prison Ministry. But all of that wasn’t enough. I was elected onto the Board for SCEC and eventually become president. I was selected as one of 45 founding members of a new chapter of a sorority at my school. I fulfilled my obligations, sat on various committees, and joined Greek Review Board as my sorority’s representative. At one point I held a second job in a group home, but that lasted only about 9 months before I felt day and evening hours didn’t fit my schedule with everything else I was involved in. I built one hell of a resume and had a job waiting for me 9 months before I graduated college.
After college, it wasn’t long before I was kicked out of my home by my cheating, cocaine-high high school sweetheart. Shortly thereafter I began working two jobs and then I decided to work on my master’s degree. It wasn’t until recently I realized I have worked my adult life away. I’m in my 30’s. No husband. No children. No boyfriend. I’d miss certain things with friends because I had to work.
One random, bright, freezing winter day, I decided I was tired of working my life away. I have hidden from poor relationships, lack of friendships, and general loneliness and depression. I walked into my second job the next day and gave my two-weeks notice. Four months down the road, I’ve managed to unpack the boxes in my house, join a book club (and actually have time to read most of the books), spend a little bit of time on nature photography, knit something, crochet something else, and have a few dinners with friends.
Now it was my last day at work for the school year. My things from school are packed up and moved home. It’s Friday night and I’m sitting alone – almost alone. There’s a cat and a fish… and that pesky inner voice whispering. Whispering horrid things.
“You’re alone because nobody wants you. You’re not good enough to be a wife or a mother. You will die young – alone in a hospital waiting to begin living.”
Ultimately I want to dedicate myself to living this summer – enjoying being alive. But I don’t know where to start. The world doesn’t lend itself to people who are alone. I can’t go to a restaurant alone. I can’t drink alone at the bar. It would just feel weird sitting in a giant movie theater surrounded by people who I don’t know.
When I was a child, I hated being the only person in a class with no friends and no siblings. My mom would enroll me in tap, jazz, ballet, ice skating, gymnastics, etc. I was always the only person without a friend or a sister. I was the only girl who was brought to class by mom and waited alone to get picked up by mom. People are cruel that way. They very rarely open up and invite someone who is obviously alone into their group. They may watch, and some will even make fun of that person. It was the hell of childhood. Alone.
In this day and age, women don’t want me around because they are insecure. I am a single female therefor (in about 99.9% of female’s eyes) it is clearly obvious I’m out to steal their man. Men don’t hang out with me or talk to me because their girlfriend/wife/fuck-buddy would be pissed off about it. I’ve lost numerous friends – friends I knew long before the guy met the bitch – due to such circumstances. I’ve never had a large group of female friends, but even they stop talking to me. Either they push me away when they meet this wonderful prince charming, or they don’t want anything to do with me when they start having babies. SERIOUSLY?!? I have more experience with babies and children than you will after raising your own! But apparently there is something not trustworthy about a single female who lives alone.
Summer. SUMMER? Summer is an experiment with no job and too much time between each meeting or event. When it is over, I will jump head first into a water-less pool of lesson plans, teaching, coaching, yarn club, and any other commitment I’m offered. There won’t be time to feel alone… and in short moments between lying down and falling asleep, I’ll regret summer, feeling like I didn’t use it to its fullest, but I’ll never understand what more could have been done.
I am committing: I will try to remain positive and busy myself appropriately. I will not give in to evil thoughts and whispers of not being good enough for the world. I will appreciate my talents and interests. I will appreciate me.