Saturday, June 24, 2006

Chapters in Solitude.

Chapters in Solitude.

I tend to think of life as divided into neat little compartments - chapters. In some ways, this view is far too simplistic, but I rather like it. Some recent chapters in my life were:

Years 2002-2004 Chapter: At the Other College, living at home, working.
Spring Semester 2005 Chapter: Transferring to This College; Mono; going from having dozens of friends to only three.
Fall Semester 2005 Chapter I (September through November 2nd): Back at school after a summer at home; taking 17 credits; tired of boys and their stupid mind games.
Fall Semester 2005 Chapter II (beginning on November 2nd): I met John. And I knew I had stumbled across exactly what I wanted. Shortly before I met him, I had written this:

I used to hate my loneliness and try to avoid it at all costs. But now, now that I can see the rest of my life stretching out before me, unfurling like a beautiful canvas, I don't hate this last bit of loneliness. I'm rather enjoying it, knowing that I won't endure it much longer. Instead of loneliness dogging my every move, it's more like the subtle itching pain of shinsplints the day before they disappear. It's something I can deal with now; I can cope, instead of trying to ignore that it exists.

And as I sit here alone, my eyes continually searching the space around me, I see a toddler and his father out for a walk, thick, dark grass underfoot, the chilly breeze playing with the yellow leaves, and late-afternoon sunlight dappling the sidewalk, and I think to myself, In a few years, I could be the mother who's at home getting hot chocolate ready for when her men come home; shoes off, reading a book, and enjoying the solitude.

And that's what makes it bearable now, I think; knowing that I won't be alone too much longer.

After I met John, I forgot what solitude was -- with the exception of a little reminder durig separate at-home weekends during Christmas break. In each other, we had a constant companion, someone to read with, watch movies with, talk with, love, and just be with. As soon as I met him, I forgot what loneliness was; as I had predicted, it disappeared without a trace, except for my delight in being with him. Like shinsplints, I didn't note the exact day the memory of loneliness disappeared; I realized it had left, after the fact, and it was relegated to the cobwebby recesses of my mind.

But this, starting two days ago, is the beginning of another chapter, one that is quite lonely, again. John has moved back to his family's house, in order to begin substitute teaching and save the $800 he would spend each month on rent, utilities, and food. Instead of being one mile away, taking care of me when I'm sick, and available any time of the day or night, he will be 270 miles away. To the people who read this and have spent months being thousands of miles apart, I know I'm being a bit of a baby. I was able to see him every single day for eight months, and I know that is pretty incredible -- and I am eternally thankful for it.

And this loneliness is not without a silver lining; for we appreciate each other more the times we are able to spend time together. And instead of being a pointless solitude, there is a purpose behind it.

So, you see, as lonely as I am right now, I know what's waiting at the end of the solitude. And that makes it bearable.

No comments: