Tonight was my night off. I didn’t make any plans ahead, which I should start doing, because in hemming and hawing about it I wound up back home at the same time Ted brought the kids home, and then wound up spending an hour dinking around and also comforting Hazel, who didn’t want me to leave.
Nonetheless, I am SO GLAD I did eventually get my act together and go out to see a movie. Walking around in the lovely summer night air, hearing people talking, music playing, felt so freeing. Going to see a flick (“Begin Again”) that I really enjoyed, by myself, helped me to reconnect with my self, the self that’s been with me since the beginning and before my life was so radically transformed by the advent of my children. I am glad that being alone is something I treasure now. When I was comforting Hazel, I told her that I was very sorry that she was feeling sad, and that I understood why she was feeling that way (she said she misses me and loves me and didn’t want me to go), but that I really needed to be alone periodically to recharge and relax, and that helped me be a better mommy. She said, “Well, I don’t like being alone!” I said that she might enjoy it more when she’s older.
Being alone is so many things for me now; peaceful, energizing, relaxing, renewing, absolutely necessary for my well-being. All of those things are true of being with friends, and I will look forward to sharing some of my Fridays with my friends. I need both solitude and companionship. When I was younger I was so focused on my need for closeness with others that I didn’t see my need for alone time so that I could develop comfort and closeness with myself.
Of course sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to relax into solitude. But there’s only one way to learn, and that is to experience life as it happens.