I like eating by myself.
There, I said it. I like to eat by myself, walk by myself, shop by myself. This is actually a new development.
Before now, you would find me at a bar by myself and even then I usually knew the bartender. But never by myself anywhere else except home, when I had no other options. My entire life has been built on the idea that I constantly need people around me and when I have had instances alone (after break-ups, my college stint in my big yellow house, losing friends), I have spiraled furiously and that era is marked by some sort of mental breakdown.
There was one time in my life where as lonely as I felt, I was so fortunate to be raising one of the most divine children that has ever graced this Earth. I was reminded this week of that time, as she discovered a show that had come out when she was one. I was an overweight, unhappy, lost suburban mother who knew there was still so much out there. Thinking of those moments in the dimly lit living room with The Gruffalo playing on Sprout as the snow fell on the Pennsylvania hill town, remembering how happy I was to be holding her in the big blue armchair. That was the first time I was by myself, with my true thoughts. For the first time accepting those thoughts, because let’s face it, the child in front of you needs to know honor and honesty. And that starts with being honest with yourself. And this is where I started planting the seeds for what has become my reality.
I made a few gardening mistakes. Coming to terms with the fact that you actually like yourself and want more for yourself than what you have is not the easiest task. It took me a few years to really accept that I could actually exist in a space, unoccupied by anyone else close to be, and enjoy my own company. I mean I guess the only other time I am and have been truly alone is when I am writing (and even then that wasn’t always the case). But I mean, alone with thoughts, not working on anything. Though, *shameless plug alert* I have been working through the last few poems of my second poetry book and that has kept my mind busy at the diner.
But I mainly just eat. And relax. I don’t even social media much in those moments. Today I plan to go to the cemetery to work through some poems. I want to publish by Thanksgiving. It was originally Halloween but I have spent the last month or so adjusting to this new footing.
I have been trying to close the heaviest back cover of a book that has ever existed in my immediate life (don’t worry, I know there are people out there who may have heavier ones). It has gone on for pages and pages and it is getting really old and I also have characters and things I am carrying over to the next book that I need to sort (depression has made it hard for me to see you/call you, you know who you are and I love you and you are coming with me). But I am feeling rested now. I am not on the edge of my seat every moment of the day anymore. I am settling in and preparing for the best to come. I will look back on this time in my life and I will say that it is easily the best time I ever had. And I still have another marriage, some more children, more pets, bigger dwellings, larger milestones all to come. But this is the time I made it possible.