Thursday, July 14, 2005

On being alone

I love my family, but honestly, I think I could have lived alone. When I was a senior in college, I lived in an apartment by myself, largely thanks to my boyfriend dumping me, but still I think it was the best thing that could have happened to me. It's sort of ironic because I really, really like people. I love being around people at work, for instance. But I like retreating from them and being isolated for a while.

I may be romanticizing this whole idea since obviously, I haven't a clue what it's like to be alone at my age. I mean 22 is one thing, but 37 is quite another. My sister-in-law lives by herself, but she has friends, goes out with men from time to time and seems, for the most part, quite happy. There's so much pressure on women to find a mate and early. Or at least there was for my generation. It's so obvious in my journals that I was desperately afraid of being alone, of not having friends, of not having boyfriends. If only I could have accepted that it's okay to be on my own. I suppose that's asking a lot of a preteen/teenager.

Yes, I know there are studies that show that people are happier and live longer if they are married and have friends, but have they ever looked at whether there aren't some people who live alone and are perfectly content? There's rarely a tv show, book, or movie that shows a character living by themselves quite happily. They're always depicted as quirky, odd, slightly sad. And I think that's too bad.