Alone-Ly

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I call bullshit on the notion that as modern women we should be satisfied with being alone. Okay, okay, don’t get your panties in a bunch ladies! I’m definitely NOT saying that another person, especially a man, can come along and magically make you happy. I am NOT saying that you should devote yourself to finding a mythical something to take the pain away, and make everything that isn’t okay, okay (impossible, by the way, but if you already knew that, read on).

What I AM saying is the modernist notion of women always having to have it all together is way off. We are complex, multifaceted, and cannot be boiled down to basics.

Now that I’ve quelled my need to scream this at the world, we can get down to brass tacks.

I am single and there’s no shame in my game. I like being able to do whatever I please- leave my bed messy, avoid shaving my legs without embarrassment or consequence, et cetera. Being single allows me a kind of absolute freedom that’s truly difficult to enjoy when you’re attached to someone. I make my own money, use a vibrator, own a tool kit, and can pretty much do whatever you would need a man for all by myself. But something I recently discovered is that my fuck-you attitude is not serving my highest good.

Backtrack with me for a moment.

Picture a very little Lindsay-desperate for her parent’s attention as nearly all children are-and never quite getting what she would deem adequate love from her childhood. So she grows up with an aching sense that something is missing.That if only she could be noticed and validated by a mail counterpart, she would be fulfilled and completed as a person.

So yes while this is true-I never got the attention and felt abandoned in my childhood-I was and am exactly where I need to be. This challenge of lacking has made me who I am today. Capable, independent, strong and determined. So if I’m capable and even successful in my life, why the heck do I still feel the need to be with or connect with someone? Why can’t I just chill all by myself? Because I’m a human being.

As human beings, it’s true that being in this world (especially in this city), we can tend to go on autopilot. We tend to shrug off suggestions of assistance or support by others in lieu of doing it all on our own. I know there are plenty of women-and believe me, I’ve met my fair share-who sit and pine away for a man to come along and make life bearable, but the tide seems to have changed.

It’s now the trend to be your own woman.  Alone. Solo and content with a table for one or not having to share the popcorn at the movies (not to mention the movie choices). It’s not to say that I’m not one hundred percent supportive of the aforementioned scenarios. Personally, I need me time, where I don’t have to be involved with another person-their thoughts, feelings, problems. But I also need time with others. Not companionable isolation, like with strangers at my local bar, but real intimacy with other human beings.

My need for autonomy does not usurp my need for connection. If you’re anything like me you’ve forgone deep bonds with others for a tough gal act that keeps you at arms length of any real emotions. Instead of feeling  what we should we make the goal to feel as little as possible.

My desire for autonomy does not usurp my need for connection. The fashion, and pressure for so many of us, is to forgo creating bonds with others for an unnecessary “tough girl” act that keeps you an arm’s length from any breadth of emotion. Instead of acknowledging our feelings, we make the goal to feel as close to nothing as possible. “Tough girl-hood” even becomes a bade of honor in some sense-to be able to handle even the most egregious heartbreak, betrayal, pain, without flinching. Wait a freakin’ second. Have we forgotten that we are the feeling half of the food chain?

My solution to being a more complete person is to feel, and feel everything. Feel what it’s like to be on my own, and even sometimes lonely. We can feel the pain of reticent parents, painful losses, lacking childhoods without becoming it.

I can be the benevolent observer of my suffering rather than a slave to its narrative. To ask for help when I need it without shame. To open myself up to the possibility that I can have my needs met by many different people, and in turn have a deeply connected romantic partner. Someone who not only replaces my vibrator, but reminds me that I deserve to be loved, and that I am the shit.

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