As of this week, I’m going to live alone for the first time in a long time. And I don’t know how I feel about it.
Well, yes I do. That’s the sort of diplomatic thing that I say at work, when someone is off-loading a petty, worthless issue onto me and I carefully say, “Thank you for sharing this with me” instead of “The levels of dumb bitchery that you have suddenly thrust upon me are almost incomprehensible.”
Of course I know how I feel about living alone. I feel NOT GOOD. But I think I’m also surprised about why I feel NOT GOOD. I have lived in my condo for ten years, which is a little crazy, because, oh hey, where did the last decade go? But it’s a happy place for me, bright, spacious, and somehow conveniently located no matter where I’m trying to go, whether it’s to work, school, to meet friends, my family, Fenway, picking everyone and their brother up at the airport, everything. So I have no driving force to move, but I also wonder what my co-habitating history would look like if I hadn’t had the extra space, and the inexplicable desire to fill that extra space.
I did live alone here for awhile. Then I lived with my boyfriend for a couple years, or something close to that. This is what happens when you’re a serial monogamist. It’s not that I’ve had a zillion relationships, really just four Big Ones, but it’s enough that I develop a little bit of relationship ADD. I really only remember the details of the last relationship that I had. Where am I supposed to store the information about how my ex-ex-boyfriend liked his pizza? I just don’t have room. I remember you guys fondly, though. I hope you dance. And please stop texting me.
In any case, living with him seemed logical, because we were going to get married. And then I decided that I didn’t want to marry him (how many stories do you want to hear at one time?) and after that, my friend J lived with me for awhile, about a year or so. This worked out well because I was still in the aftermath of breaking up with the boyfriend, and J needed a place to stay. J is like my brother and I adore him. In fact, I think I’m tagged as his actual sister on Facebook. Regardless, it worked out great in the sense that I liked being able to help him as well as have so much built-in time with him. It didn’t work out so great in the sense that he had a short-lived relationship with a 20 year old college sophomore while he was living with me, and he would bring her by to share her prolific, religious musings on how no one should finish college without being engaged.
She and I got along famously.
While J was living here, I met my most recent boyfriend, and we moved in pretty quickly, too quickly, potato, po-tah-to. When we finally ended it for real (doesn’t that sound like the next Taylor Swift song? When We Finally Ended It For Real?), my friend A moved in. She was having an issue with her own condo, so it was unrelated to my breakup, but it was convenient because again, I had an airbag in the form of a friend. But now she’s found her own place and is leaving this week. It’s the right decision, but holy crap, why won’t my airbag deploy? Where’s my safety net? Where’s the religious girl on the couch telling me I need to understand God and marriage?
I know that I could find a roommate if I wanted one, but the thing is that I really don’t want a roommate. Those four people that have lived with me over the past five years have been here for a variety of reasons, but all foremost because I loved them and it seemed like a good thing to do.
Is this just my Carrie Bradshaw phase, my time to pontificate about dating sketchy men and buying shoes? It’s taken my friends and I all this time to actually become the age that the women are on that show. And I do type on my laptop next to a window, which is open today because of unseasonably nice weather. ”I couldn’t help but wonder…”
I mean, it’s not Psych 101. I guess no one wants to feel alone. A lot has happened since I’ve been living here. I’ve met some of my best friends, I’ve watched my godkids somehow become teenagers, I’ve fallen in love, I’ve fallen in love, I’ve fallen in love. I quit my job, went back to school, found a great new job, decided to go back to school again, found an awesome new job, and I’ll be done with school in the spring. I have more financial stability and independence than I’ve ever had before. And yet I’m still concerned that if a zombie eats my face, no one will know until a few days later.
It’d be easier to live with someone for the sake of living with someone, and I’m not being self-righteous about people who do that, because I get it. It’s tempting. A sweet trap, as my friend John Steinbeck used to say. (He never lived here.)
He also said this:
“I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.”
How great was that guy? I mean, really. You should read Travels with Charley.
Yeah, so anyway. I guess at the end of the day it’s about living your choices, right? I have to live my choice, because it’s better than compromising myself, and other inspirational quotes that are actually probably completely true so I should stop being dismissive of them and actually write them down.
Still, though. What about the zombies, you guys?