Ryan leaves me a lot. On volleyball trips during the winter, on work trips during the summer. I always get asked this question: “Is that so hard?” or this question: “Oh no, are you sooo lonely?”
“Nah, I’m used to it,” I say because this is an appropriate response. This is always followed up with a sympathetic “You poor thing” or something like it.
But the truth is “No, really. I am used to it and I love it. I LOVE BEING ALONE!” (No offense, other readers who feel like this is wrong? No offense, Ryan. Although, this is nothing new to you.)
Because the thing is . . . this loving aloneness all started out many, many years ago:
My mom, like your mom, used to send me to my room when I was little after I screamed and ripped things, saying things like, “I HATE THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE HOW I FEEL!!!!!!” My mom would respond with something like, “Go to your room and don’t come out for an hour.”
This was always very frustrating for me as a child because bedrooms sucked compared to kitchens or family rooms or game rooms. Bedrooms were messy. Small. Stuffy. Foodless. (Well, except that one time when I stole Mentos from the grocery store and hid them behind my Jesus picture.) So my initial reaction to timeout in the bedroom was always, “UGHHHHHHHH!!!!! I HATE YOU FOREVER!!!!!!!”
But then my mom would forget about me and not until three hours later would she barge through my door, saying,”Tara! You can come out now! Tara!” all apologetically.
But the thing is she’d always find me just chillin’ out on the ground, thinking to myself, “Eh–don’t worry about it. In good company.” And I was.
You see, I like to tell myself jokes. Muse over that weird comment in class. Hold my butt cheeks in front of the mirror like water balloons. I think these things are funny and I like to laugh.
Once Ryan said to me, “I could never marry myself. I’d be so bored with myself. You know?” I looked at him. “Eh, Speak for yourself. I’d marry myself in a heart beat,” and I meant it.
Because I’d totally get when to speak and when not to speak, what to say and what not to say, what to do and what not to do, what to buy myself on a random day because, you know, I’d be me. I’d know exactly what my other me wanted because I’d be feeling it too.
“Ah yes, but would you do it?” Ryan asked.
Ignoring his attack at my laziness, I responded, “Probably not. But I’d understand why. Because I’d be me.” And in case you didn’t know, I love me.
Which leads me back to why I started writing this. When Ryan leaves, I have more time with me and this is always a great thing. Well, until after about the third night. Then I start getting annoyed with myself. One time I almost kicked myself out of bed. (A love/hate relationship.)