Friday, April 18, 2014

Making and Sipping Lemonade

As I start this post, there's a glass of Turkey Hill lemonade beside me. Yum. But of course, there's more to the metaphor than that.

I knew the first time my roommie had to stay in PA for personal reasons that it wouldn't go well. Not for her, as in I thought whatever was messed up would get worse. But for me, because I'm a people person. I remembered living in a single room in a dorm as a junior in high college, and even that was hard, so I was certain it'd be rough when she had to go home.

And it was. I was at my peek in depression and ickiness then, and it's coming back now that I'm in my fourth month living without her again.

And Chelsea, I'm not writing this to make you feel bad, dear. You know me- there will be a positive message, so hang on and don't think I'm falling apart... yet. ;)

But really. It hits me hard sometimes.

It hit me really hard when I was leaving the grocery store last week, and keeps hitting me each time I go back*. It was raining that day, and I saw two gals that  had been shopping together while inside working as a team to get their groceries in their car- one was holding an umbrella over the head of the other, the former using a hoodie to keep her hair dry as the latter, hoodless, was moving groceries from the cart to their trunk. And I thought, "God, that's exactly what Chels and I would do, I think we even did that more than once." So I stared at them like a creeper, getting all wet as it rained on me and they laughed and joked with each other, squealing and being girls together.

And it's kind of depressing coming home to an almost empty apartment.

But  that's where it starts to get better. I mean, don't get me wrong, there are times I'd give anything to just knock on her door and have her come watch something on Netflix with me, or just babble about this or that together.

But I'm not entirely alone. I have this little goofball:

Taken literally just now
It helps to have to immediately run to open her cage and let her out to do her thing every time I get home. And there's usually some rope-tugging for a few minutes, too. And now that it's finally not freezing cold outside, we're going on nice walks around this park near the apartment, and I lose myself in how adorable she gets chasing bugs and sniffing around like a tracker (hah, right).

So that's good.

And I'll have to admit, I'm not the "strut around naked" type, but not having to put on pants right after taking a shower is kind of convenient (I still put on everything else, just not pants, because my legs never dry right and the pants stick to my legs if I don't air dry at first, and there's also lotion to consider...) (no, I don't protest too much...). 

Also, free reign over the kitchen means all sorts of yummy meals and experiments in baking I would have been less apt to do because of fear of hogging the space when my roommie needed it.

And while it's not like I ever had to ask permission to go anywhere or do anything from Chels, now I just flit around like the little social butterfly I am without having to consult anyone.

And I guess this brings me to being single. Because you knew that was going to happen, too, right? Well, yeah, so sue me.

I do want "someone" special, but I'm not entirely miserable without "someone" to hold and be held by. I make do with what I have. I spend time with friends whenever I can, running from work to letting River out to hang to River to hanging again. And at the end of the hanging, she rests her head on my lap and snuggles and I feel warm and safe, because I know she's never going to hurt me- and it goes beyond her not really being capable; I like to think it's because she'd never want to, as well.

And there are even some friends I feel safe enough to admit, "Hey, I'm lonely tonight, can we hang out?" Like recently, I admitted to a friend I was feeling lonely, and  then spent a lovely evening at his place with his fiance. I very much love both with all my heart, and we had a splendid time chatting, then watching a movie and eating cheesecake, then talking about their wedding invites. And it didn't make me feel lonelier, helping them with that- I was happy to be there for idea bouncing and giving my opinion and stuff. I like being  there for my friends, after all, and turning my needy moments into ones where I can help them is one of my ways of getting out of my funks. Maybe it's selfish, but everybody wins, so is it really so bad? Lemonade, right?

And being single means I can invest more in these friendships, too. I'd need a special guy to put up with the lengths I'll go for others. Last week, a friend needed me at about 1:00am, and if I had been next to someone else in bed, it would have been a problem  if he had wanted  me to stay home instead of drive to that friend's aid. Because I won't leave  a friend that needs me hanging. Of course, same would go for a SO, and it wouldn't ever actually be like I was choosing them over him, but still. I could see my giving, mama-bear nature being a problem, if the dude didn't get that about me fully.

But I'm not naive,  either. This lemonade-thing isn't entirely sustainable. That's why when I move to Seattle, I'll have two amazing housemates, friends from undergrad that are just as nerdy, fun, and open-minded as me. We'll have tons of fun together, playing board games and D&D and playing with the animals (River will need to learn to get along with felines... that'll be interesting).

There are some people that do okay living on their own. I don't, and I have the strength to admit that. So housemates it is. Now does this also mean I'll go running with suitcases to the first dude that offers? No, not unless I honestly believe I can see a life with him, if it feels like the step I want with him. Not because it seems like the next step, per se. I may sound desperate, but I have standards, and I'm going to try my hardest to resist jumping  head-first into something I haven't thought about enough. 

Still, I do get stabbed sometimes by the universe- seeing the car of someone that hurt me go by with the guy at the wheel, a woman by his side... that hurts. Being told, "You'll hear from me," then nothing, that cuts me. Getting the, "You're great, but..." speech, it's like a slit across my arm. That "f"-word that some dudes don't realize women hear all the ruddy time, too, so it's not like we don't get hurt by  being told we're "a good friend," ourselves... It burns, burns to the bone. And I can't not feel that.

So I gather up those lemons and let them sit for a few minutes, but then I squeeze all the juices out, add some sugar, and enjoy it. Because I know, once I've calmed down a little, and not even always before I stop crying, that any pain is making me a better person, a more loving  friend and considerate partner. I take damn good care of my friends (and my dog), and I'll take damn good care of whoever is lucky enough to see me for what I'm worth. And when that comes, we'll sip lemonade together and watch the sunset, knowing the next day carries the possibility of something even more amazing. 

*I'm terrible at getting all the stuff I need in one go nowadays, too... not sure if it's related to being alone or not, tbh. If it does, then I think it has to do with me calling people to try NOT to be lonely while there, and getting distracted.

**Not really. ;p

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