It’s not all bad.
It’s been a really busy few weeks. Having just settled into a new apartment, an independent woman in my 40’s, I find myself looking out the window.
It’s another dreary, rainy day, making my brain-clearing walks less likely, of late. I find myself staring at the same gray patch of asphalt at the foot of my apartment building. I am worked-out, Netflix-ed-out, and tired of the walls I’ve been so busy decorating. I’ve cleaned every surface, and then cleaned them again. One day is running into another, save for the work-from-home stuff I have to do. This week I actually looked forward to walking my dog all the way to the mailboxes at the end of the drive. It was a big deal. I took two doggie poop bags for that walk. It was drizzling and cold, but I was feeling so cooped up, I didn’t even care.
Yes, I’m single, but I haven’t been for long. Less than a year, so the wound’s still fresh. But, I have fire on the inside. Can you relate, ladies? I burn for a fulfilling life that provides for me, nourishes me, and entertains me. And I want to do it, for myself. No partner necessary.
Like most writers, I am a self-proclaimed, proud introvert, but I’ve been in this apartment for going on 6 weeks now, rarely speaking to other people in person. It came as quite a shock to realize and was even harder to admit to myself, that I am bored. I need the external stimulation of smiling faces, the sounds of people that aren’t coming from the latest binge-watch, and the feel of the driver’s seat of my car hum with the passing of painted street stripes. I need to get out of here. Even if just for a little bit. Even if I go alone. It’s ok to have fun, alone. Ask any single, independent woman, who’s mastered the art of singlehood. Sometimes, you have to take yourself out.
Now, I realize, there’s a raging pandemic sweeping our nation. Millions of people are holed-up, feeling very much like I am right now. I get it. We can’t just go out anytime we want. We weigh the options. We think over our “stay-safe” plans. We consider our needs. We justify or we stay home. In this case, after the heartbreaking year I’ve had, followed by the empowering highs of the start of this year, I am garbled. My insides feel like they’ve been through a blender. I am a new creature.
And I am sick of this rain. Weigh the options — decision made.
In a few hours, I’ll be ready. I am waiting for my hair to dry. I may take off the old crusty pink nail polish and replace it with something a bit more fun. Red, maybe. I’ll select something new to wear. (I only have one new-ish thing to wear, an olive, cotton, sleeved shirt with a cute cut out at the top of the back. That will do.) I’ll take out all those shiny sample colors from Ipsy that have gone untouched, and maybe do my make-up along with a YouTube influencer who knows how to make mature skin glow in all the right ways. I’ll play music; just like I’m getting ready for a date.
I bought my ticket online last night for a movie I’d likely choose to watch at home by myself. You know the kind; those no-one-but-you movies you like. For me, it’s an atmospheric drama set in the wilderness. Perfect for a woman living her own inner rawr, don’t you think? I might even buy popcorn, which I don’t really like, but you know, it’s a movie. I was pleased to see online that I bought the first and only ticket, so far. (Social distancing WIN!) My seat is right down front, but not too close, you know because I want to be comfortable. I might even take a little blanket to tuck behind my back.
Today, I got up questioning my decision, playing and replaying all the pandemic warnings in my mind. But as the workday drew to a close I found myself excited. I found myself feeling some of those same fuzzy feelings like I have a date tonight, only without the nerves of having to actually deal with some dude I don’t know very well. This is so much better than a date.
That’s what I needed. That. The excitement of something to look forward to. So often when we live with other people we have little moments throughout our day, things to look forward to, that involve the patterns and movements of other people. When you live alone and work from home, your schedule revolves around deadlines, Zoom calls, and the defecation habits of the dog. Not much else. Well, The Bachelor airing schedule — there’s that.
Single people have to tend to the emotional and social needs they have or else risk loneliness, fatigue, boredom, or worse — depression. When you find yourself staring out the window, feeling caged (in any way), it’s ok to get out there — Alone? YES! *Gasp!*— and find the things you need.
There is NO Reason You Can’t Get Out There By Yourself
Well, pandemic concerns aside, I mean,
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not ok to do things alone. It’s NOT socially weird, at all, and we need to get over that notion altogether.
The EveryGirl blog tackled the stigma of women doing things alone in their snarky and informative blog post, saying:
Society has created this double standard. When a man goes to an event alone, it’s fine. He’s “prospecting” or “spontaneous.” Yet, when a woman goes alone, there is something off about it. Either, she must be socially awkward and deserves pity because she had to succumb to going it solo, or she is brave. We need to stop applauding women for going alone, and spend more time encouraging young women to do things on their own until it becomes the norm. — The EveryGirl
and also . . .
Learning to be completely self-dependent, physically, and emotionally, in novel situations is an invaluable skill that will pay dividends far into the future in both your career and your personal life. — The EveryGirl
And, she’s right. In times when internet dating and Zoom dating are growing exponentially, there’s a whole lot of us out there who are simply happy on our own. Why isn’t society reflecting this image of women out there, doing all kinds of things, without having to bring along a partner-in-crime? Without it being such a big deal?
Well, maybe society is showing it to us, but as single women, we’re so busy explaining ourselves, that we aren’t noticing that we don’t need to. We don’t have to explain it, justify it, or relieve the burden of confusion for people who aren’t as independent as we are. Just get out there and do it. (Safely, though — pandemic times such as these.)
Want to travel? Plan that trip. You can go alone. Why not? This week I started building my travel bucket list. What places would you put on your travel bucket list?
Do you need to get some outdoor air or sunshine? Go to the park. Alone. (Be smart and careful, of course, but you shouldn’t let your singlehood prevent you from living a complete, fulfilling life!)
Tonight, I am going to a movie. I am happy about this (although it will make me feel nervous about germs, etc.) and I will be careful. But I will not be ashamed. Or embarrassed. Or feel the need to explain to anyone around me why the seats next to me are empty. It’s ok that those seats are empty. Gives me room to breathe.
Thanks for reading along. Best wishes to all you single ladies out there, navigating life on your own terms, seeking your own fulfilling lives. You’ve got this, my queens.