When I wrote all those whiny (i did have a good reason, a-thank you very much!) posts about being afraid and being nervous and all around being a negative nancy I was afraid of one thing all along. I was so scared of being alone. I mean, yeah, I'm an only child and yeah, I am alone a lot of the day, but this was / is a whole new kind of alone. I am 1017 miles from home alone. (hah, home alone) I am starting from scratch alone. I was never this. Alone meant being in your room, doing nothing, wondering what your friends were doing but too afraid to ask them, so you just suck it up and wait. Alone meant hanging out and surfing the net while your parents made their ways back home. Alone meant that your cat was in some part of the house patrolling.
August was a rough month. I left my home of 18 years as I stepped onto a train and watched it speed by and then couldn't tell if I was in New Jersey or if we were in Pennsylvania. I felt as if I was on a vacation with my family and moving into the dorm was very emotionally confusing. I slept and interacted with people on campus but my family was only 5 minutes away in a hotel, doing all kinds of fun things. The hardest times were when, after a long day of Sorority Rush, my family would meet up with me for dinner. I broke down at the table constantly. I don't want to remember that feeling. When they left, as I walked into my dorm and as they drove away, I was so confused. Nothing felt real. In the elevator up to the 14th floor, it hit me, I was alone. Some people who I go to school with were really happy at this moment, FREEDOM! the coveted teenage yearning. I, in my hipster way of doing everything differently, was frightened out of my mind. I had never gotten coffee on my own, it was weird if my family wasn't all home by 7 o'clock, I always felt so sad for those who ate in the diner by themselves (especially older people!! :[[ ) and here I was, about to be in a state all by my lonesome. Sure I had some scraps of friends here and there, the normal ones out of the hundreds I had met, but what if they were all busy?! What if I had none of them in my classes?! WHAT IF I HAD NO ONE TO LUNCH WITH!!!????!?! yeah. (listen, dont judge me, ive lived a priviledged life and i am blessed with many many many good fortunes and ive never had to deal with this - poor little lucky girl. whatever.)
Well, long story short (too late), I have made leaps and bounds, if I do say so myself. That nervous feeling when I would walk alone has vanished. I am no longer paranoid about my walking speed or if my skirt is all ruffled, I walk about 40 minutes a day, mostly alone. Everyday, every single day, unless I've made plans of course, I grab my lunch and eat alone. I check my mail alone. I no longer have a roommate so I am alone when I am in my dorm. I am no longer afraid.
When I was growing up, my momma taught me all kinds of words to expand my vocabulary. of Horrendous instead of bad, Antiquated in place of old, Taken Aback rather than surprised. The ones I heard most and remember the best are "Independent and Self Sufficient", I felt like hot stuff saying those words and would always be proud when my parents or my family would remark how I did something on my own - clean up my mess, get dressed, put my candle up in church all by myself - they would say something like Good Job! or You Did It! and I would nod and smile and thank them with the addition of "yeah, I'm independant and self sufficient." and now I feel like saying that. I was a little dependant on people always being there. I watched the video above for like, days on end, it feels like. It is so true. You are not a freak if you walk alone or if you are enjoying a diner classic by yourself. It reminds me of the story of The New England Nun by Kate Chopin. I admired the woman for choosing to be alone and happy rather than get married and be semi-happy, but I never even thought of doing that myself. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your own company, just being with your thoughts. Wonderful things happen when you are alone. You notice the surroundings around you. You notice the noise and sometimes, even the silence. You write really long blog posts in comfy clothes. You remember. You think. You dream.
I've talked too long but I'll continue on for just a bit more, I've got one last point.
In World Lit we're discussed the self and God. We were reading The Odyssey. My prof, in his usual hipster, rolled up pant legs and skinny tie attire, was doing all the talking and I was zoning in and out and I picked up on one section. How, on the journey, one or in this case Odysseus, had to be segregated, had to be alone to be with God. Something stupid had to happen but they had to be broken and failing and alone to reach contact or full contact with God. This song I have only recently began to obsess over. It is about God/Jesus, but thats besides the point. I love that idea "To be alone, with you". I find it wonderful, that whole oxy moron of being alone with another being - whether its a girl or boy or God. I love it that true connection doesn't happen until we are only a piece of what we were. I did break a little bit. Nothing requiring meds or talking to someone, but college so far away really hit me hard. But I am good now, I have learned to cherish my own company and am comfortable where I am. Today, someone told me I had a lot of friends, and I guess I do. I am getting back into my old ways with a new twist. For example, I heard about a Russian flutist and trumpet player who were doing a concert in the Music Hall and I invited everyone I knew and no one could go and I was all ready to stay home but I looked in the mirror and decided to hoof it there, in record time, I might add - you should see these calves! - and I fully enjoyed the concert. I saw people I knew there and they invited me to join them but I declined and loved it all the more because there was no obligated feeling of talking about the concert, I could just think about it.
I'm not saying that being alone is the best thing in the world and that I would be happy just re-organizing my room until forever, but it is nice to be able to enjoy it when the time comes and you are hungry and everyone is in class. I love that things are working out. I love that I have a blog. I love that I can't stop listening to this song.