I’ve spent a great deal of my life alone.
First off, my family moved around a fair amount while I was growing up. I made friends easily, but at that age you don’t keep friends that move to the other side of town, let alone a whole other state. My parents often talk about their childhood friends, many of whom are still in their lives and I don’t have that. I’m not bitter about it at all, but I sometimes wonder if the reason for that is only that I don’t know any better.
Secondly, I am an only child. Just by virtue of this fact, I spent a lot of time by myself. I remember playing with Lego for hours on end on my own, setting up solo GI Joe and Star Wars battle scenes, getting a bit older and throwing knives and ninja stars around on my own. We had a basketball hoop in our side yard and I don’t honestly remember ever playing with anyone else. I remember a lot of internal free throw competitions and a ton of buzzer beater shot scenarios played out loud to myself, but I can’t see a memory of me playing with any of my friends.
Third, I’ve lived alone a lot. My freshman roommate in college was kicked out of the dorms for fighting early in the year and never replaced…in retrospect, I think it’s pretty rare for a college freshman to live alone. I got an apartment with roommates the next year, but the last two years I went back to living solo. After college, my then girlfriend and I moved in together for a few years, but then I was on my own after we broke up. Moved in with another girlfriend a few years after that…and then inevitably went back to solo living after that one fell apart. In thinking about it now, I think I’ve lived alone for about 15 of the 19 years since I went off to college.
I often seek to be alone. Sometimes I go for walks and try to avoid passing people on the street. I will duck down alleys or abruptly turn around just to avoid the nod and smile. I’ve stood behind the screen door of my front door (which you can’t see through from the outside) waiting for neighbors to go back inside before taking my trash out or going to my car. I’ll hole up in my apartment for whole weekends without interacting with anybody.
And the funny thing is, I’m pretty social. I have lots of friends, I go out all the time, I’m fairly gregarious and socially adept…yet I am also very alone. Perhaps independent?
I wonder if it is that streak and that way about me that keeps me single a lot of the time. I always seem to end up pushing people away, ostensibly because I’m not happy with some aspect of the person, but perhaps it’s really more about my bewildering quest for solitude. I don’t generally feel lonely…but in reality I think I may very much feel that way but revel in the sadness of it. Something is in there about rather feeling pain than nothing at all? Or it may just be my odd sense of humor.
At any rate: SWM Seeking Roommate But Not Really