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Being alone sucks

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Firefly Says Being Alone SucksWe had a quiet and relaxing weekend on the farm with cold rainy weather. It was a good weekend to take it easy and do a bit of Christmas gift knitting while enjoying sofa-company with my husband. Saturday afternoon even included a nice long cozy nap together on our reclining sofa ... as I have pointed out before I do love an occasional nap. I knit another pair of Knitty.com's "Fetching" fingerless gloves this weekend, this time for my niece as a Christmas gift. I used a few of the sweet little buttons given to me by Winnie (the woman at our church who gave me a gazillion buttons last weekend) on the wrists. I knit these from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a soft blue color. I will be making a knitted gift bag for these to go in, in a cream-colored Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn. I will most likely complete the bag by Wednesday and photos will be available. After my husband and I met and started getting to know each other via email, I thought he was a very interesting man, but I did not think there was any way I would get interested in someone who lived so far away from my family and me. Fireflys Hand Knit Fetching Gloves in Blue Cashmerino AranTherefore, my defenses were up. It might sound strange, but I was sort of defending myself against how interesting he seemed to be. I was trying my best to stay at arms length, and yet I could not stop myself from replying to his long and wonderful emails with long and hopefully wonderful emails of my own. A topic that came up often was the subject of being alone - or perhaps I should say, the "virtues" of being alone. I kept talking about how proficient I was at being alone: I could go to movies and restaurants by myself without feeling awkward; I could spend plenty of time alone at home doing creative things, watching old movies, writing ... any number of activities. And I was soooooo cool with that. In short, I was comfortable keeping company with just myself. In response he kept saying things such as, "Yes, but don't you find you long to have someone to do those things with?" He was very open about the fact that although he was alone, it was not his choice to continue to be so. But you see, because I was defending my position, I could not allow his salvos of common sense on the subject to penetrate the walls I had rather carefully built and surrounded myself with over the years. He was gently relentless in his pursuit of some kind of acknowledgment from me that being alone, though it could be tolerated, was not an optimum condition. He mentioned what it was like to go to dinner parties when you are the only non-couple person there, or when people leave a place setting for the spouse you do not have and how awkward that makes you feel. Or, when it is time to volunteer to do things at church that couples normally do together but you pass because you are alone and it just would not be the same. What I explained to him was that while being alone might not be my first choice, I had come to believe that I might end up alone and that if that was the case I planned to embrace it rather than resist it and make a beautiful life in spite of that condition. Fireflys Hand Knit Fetching Gloves in Blue Cashmerino AranStill, he persisted. Finally I hit upon something in an email to him that resounded for both of us ... I suggested that what we could probably both agree on was that being alone sucks. In his next email he said, "Yes, BEING ALONE SUCKS!" and had a few more things to say about that. For several more emails, in addition to anything else we talked about (and we talked about many, many things) each of us would say something else about BEING ALONE SUCKS. A tender spot became a point of humor between us. It was a liberating phrase. And, being alone does suck. Shout it to the world, "Being alone sucks!" There. You know when it sucks more than any other time ... Valentine's Day! Fireflys Hand Knit Fetching Gloves in Blue Cashmerino AranAfter being liberated, I was able to admit to him something I had never admitted to anyone, not even to myself. I had been lonely. When I told him about that, I also pointed out that I had built a long illustrious career of being a strong-willed, independent woman who could take are of myself and did not need a man, no way, no how. Admitting to any sense of loneliness would have blown that image to smithereens. To him, I could admit it and it did not make me feel vulnerable. Instead, it made me feel stronger. He made me feel stronger. That was different. I am profoundly grateful to him for being someone who could get me to open up and really communicate about some very deep seated matters I had always held closely locked and guarded. I appreciate so much the fact that he did not let that point about being alone rest until he received a proper acknowledgement from me ... and truth. It was part and parcel of the current I found myself sweeping along in ... my current, his current, enveloped within another current most gracious. The painting you see at the top of today's blog is a watercolor I did from a blind contour drawing my sister made of me years ago when I was being alone and strong, but tired. For some reason, that painting has become a symbol in my mind of the "Being Alone Sucks" mantra. I do not know why, it just is. So, to celebrate our liberation and to encourage the liberation of others, I put up some products over at CafePress this morning with the painting you see above and the slogan, "Being Alone Sucks." There are t-shirts, hoodies, a tote bag, mugs, even a dog t-shirt. I will be donating a portion of any revenues generated from the sale of those items to our Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Honestly, I have not ever worked with CafePress before, so I am not entirely sure how the revenue stream works; I cannot say what the exact percentage will be that goes to Habitat but they will receive an appropriate donation from these sales. Mostly, I think the products are fun and might be liberating for people who wear or use them. Who knows, maybe someone else who is alone will see you displaying the slogan and it might be liberating to them as well or at least start up an interesting conversation! I feel compelled to tell you one other thing this morning: I am a very private person. That might sound strange considering the things I share here in my blog. I am doing this because my sense of gratitude for what has happened in my life is so large that I feel sharing it is the right thing to do. We experienced real magic in finding and recognizing each other. I don't think it would be right to keep that to ourselves, when other people might benefit from knowing things like this do truly happen. I told him at one point that I would never again snicker at a fanciful "love" story that just seems a bit too good to be true. I realize now those stories are probably written, at least some of the, because things like this really do happen. It happened to us. It could happen to you. I have to end off now and go make myself some tea to warm my hands ... it is chilly up here in my upstairs office this morning. Have a beautiful day ... and thanks so much for stopping by. ~firefly

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