Thursday 28 September 2017

Pockets of bliss in a sea of loneliness

I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Automatically, I reach up to put the toilet seat down - only to realize that it's down already. And my sleepy brain remembers that he's not here.

It's the smallest things that give you a painful reminder of your lover's absence. I used to be annoyed when he left the toilet seat up, and we had silly arguments about it. "WHY CAN'T YOU PUT THE SEAT DOWN?" I would yell.
He would shout back: "WHY CAN'T YOU PUT IT UP?" Touché.

But now I miss it. I miss all the stupid little things that I like to complain about: The little cutting board with the remnants of the apple he ate late at night, left on the coffee table. The half-finished cups of tea all over the house. The used teabags in the sink that used to annoy me so much. I miss them. 
It's too quiet in the house. I always think I will like finding the house exactly how I left it, but I don't.
I miss the welcome-hugs after coming home from work.
I miss having him there to tell him all about my day.
I miss being able to share good news with him. Do you know how hard it is when something good happens and you can't share it right away? IT'S AGONY.
I miss our midday phone calls when I'm at work. We always talk at least once, and I miss these talks so much.
I miss his assurances that "everything will be okay". When I get insecure, or worried about the future, or just have a bad day, he can talk me down the ledge like nobody else can.

He's been gone 12 days now. Another 6, and he will be back.
It worries me that I miss him so much. The little voice in my head never tires to remind me that some day? The separation may be permanent.

So I try to enjoy my time as "single" girl.
I binge-watch Netflix, eat junk food and drink wine.
I get a lot of work done; that's good.
I go to a wedding celebration and have a fantastic time. That night, I don't miss him at all!
I get a phone call from a friend, offering his help. The next day, he comes by, just to make sure I'm doing okay.
I go to the neighbourhood pub and have a nice time; everybody knows my name (just like in Cheers!), and a 67-year old man mildly hits on me. It's both awkward and strangely flattering at the same time.

My "single" girl days are okay. I'm fine. I have some great moments, where I feel strong and happy and proud of myself.
But mostly? I'm lonely.

I haven't been a single girl in 15 years. And I'm very happy about it. I have never been good at being alone; I love being in love. 
I know that you're supposed to be alone. Figure out who you are. Know that you can make it on your own.
I was alone for a couple years in my early twenties, and I was so miserable and lost, I think of those years as the bleakest and most depressing ones of my life. I did learn things about myself: That I'm stronger and braver than I think I am; that no matter how desperate things are, I never lose hope; that I can survive.

I survived. But I didn't thrive. Finding love and being able to spend my life with the man I love has been the single-most extraordinary event of my life. It stands out as a shining star on top of a pile of other, but lesser achievements.

Does that make me weak? A disgrace to feminism? A "little woman"?

No. Loving someone unconditionally takes courage. If you open your heart wide to let another person in, you always risk getting hurt. But you know what?
I wouldn't want to live any other way.
I can't wait to be reunited with my love again.
Six more days.

xo Miriam



  1. Oh my gosh, I was like, "Did I miss something?? Are you okay??" I didn't realize he was out of town! Phew!

    When Chris and I put the brakes on our relationship (still NOT a break-up), it was so hard at first. I was used to seeing him every single day and suddenly I would go weeks at a time without even talking to him. We see each other around once a week or so and talk throughout the week. I'm finding that I actually LOVE this arrangement because it turns out I'm really good at being single. After all, I had the better part of 37 years experience.

    1. There are so many different ways of being in a relationship. I'm glad you found one that works for you! I think I would be more relaxed if we hadn't so many animals. But being solely responsible for hundreds of living creatures always stresses me out! I have to say though, having a relaxing evening watching Gilmore Girls, drinking tea and eating apple crumble that I made just for me, with the dogs by my feet? It's pretty damn amazing.
      He's coming home today, and I am really, really excited for it. No more full-time adulting for me for a while!


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