Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Own Best Friend

As a child, teenager, and even young adult, I craved company. Maybe growing up as an only child contibuted to the desire to always be around others. As a child, when weekends would roll around, the first words out of my mouth to my mom on Friday night would be "where are we going?" or "what are we going to do?". We would then find someone to go visit, or invite someone over for coffee, or go out for a daytrip in Boston. I hated staying home or being alone.

As a teen, friends and eventually a boyfriend or two, kept me busy. Then, as a young adult, college and beginning a career took up my time. During my 23rd year, my mom died at the age of 53. She and I had been in the process of renovating a new apartment that we would soon be moving into. Now, I had to move into the apartment alone. The beginning was so very hard. My days were kept full with working and my evenings were kept busy by going over my best friend's house. But, going home... I distinctly remember falling asleep night after night on the couch watching tv, just feeling "alone"...and not in a good way. I think I may have actually had the beginnings of a few panic attacks during that period, but fought through it.

Eventually, as time went on, being alone became a bit easier. During the three years after my mom's death, I fell in love and got married. Within two years, we decided to move to South Carolina. Moving 1000 miles away, from a bit of family and all friends, should have been intimidating and scary, but, the truth was... I was ready for change. So, instead, it all seemed exciting and adventurous. We had already purchased a home in SC ten months, we had a place to live...but we didn't have jobs. After numerous interviews and temp positions, we both eventually found jobs and settled in.

We had our first baby two years later, a daughter. Being a mom had always been my dream...and now it was a reality. Two years later, along came our second and last child, a son. The hardest thing about being a parent for me was the lack of time for "me". I had grown into loving my own quiet time. Time where I could just "be". I no longer had the need to always be around others. I had become my own best friend. I don't know what contributed to this shift in me...was it the solitude of moving from the city to a country like atmosphere? The slowing down of life from the North to the South? The lack of friends in a new environment? Or growing up? It was probably a combination of all of these. It was quite ironic to me that no sooner had I started enjoying just my own company, I now had two babies that left me without a minute of time. Of course, that special time with your babies can never be replaced and I relished every second of it. But, I must admit that as they got older, I sure did enjoy getting back some of that "me" time.

I love doing things by myself now...going for a walk, reading a book, listening to music. I also travel by myself and go to Clay Aiken concerts alone. I'm even one of those strange people who will go to a restaurant alone *g*, and like it. When I think back to who I was and who I now sometimes confuses me. How did I get from there to here? Of course, intellectually I know that the events of your life, the people, the surroundings, the experiences...all contibute to your growth and development. But sometimes it amazes me how much I have changed in different ways. I can't picture the "me" of "now" back in the days of "then".


At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's know what? Family by choice is something very special too. You know...ohana. My grandfather was a lot like Uncle adopted their first becaue they thought they could not conceive...they subsequently had 3 by birth...but Grandpa never accepted my cousin truly into the family and I know it hurt her.

What a wonderful blog!

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's toni7babe....wonderful blog you have here. I have enjoyed reading it. I too love now to do things by myself.

After my divorce it took me awhile to get use to it...but now I enjoy my own company so to speak:)
Wonderful reading...I have bookmarked your blog to visit it and the others often.


At 7:14 PM, Blogger cindydoe said...

Your blogs are such a joy to read and such an inspiration to me! I look forward to them! I need to read back and comment on a few. Thank-you so much for sharing your "life" with us, and know that that it has caused me to stop and think as I'm sure it has many, many others.

At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah..... this is underthespel, I love this blog I just read!! I have experienced so many of the same things. I moved 6000 miles away from home ! I was so insecure and now many years later I have found a new peace.
You have such a wonderful way with words and your warmth and kindness just shines through.
keep sharing and writing,
hugs !

At 9:30 PM, Blogger ladyjocelyn said...

I was practically an only child (11 years difference between my brother and I), and so I totally understand your feelings. However, it took me FOREVER to understand how to be "my own best friend."

Very nice blog. Very nice.

At 12:26 AM, Blogger myclaystation said...

Lovely blog. Alone time can be a very precious commodity. IHow wonderful that you have learned to savor it!

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Hobbier said...

My husband & I adopted our 2 oldest children when they were 6 & 7. They were my sister's children. I was so blessed when my husband's parents met us at the courthouse for the formal adoption. The judge invited them into his chambers & they took the same oath my husband & I did.

My in-laws accepted them as fully their grandchildren & they did our 2 younger children. I can't imagine how hard it would be to not be accepted by family.

My husband is my best friend but he travels a lot for work. I have learned to be my own best friend but other people don't understand that I can be happy & at peace on my own.

I really love your whole blog.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Idle-wandering said...

You write so well--you should write a book someday! I've really enjoyed reading your stories. Thanks.

At 2:31 PM, Blogger TheClayBlog said...

That's a wonderful blog. I can relate on the alone time, because as a mom, it is hard to come by! Thing for me is I've always had (and needed) large social groups more than I needed alone time. As a mother, things change to revolve around your child. So in "real life", it's about my child. BUt I get to have that social life on my time... with the Clay Nation. It's a great thing. I get "my time" whenever I can, even if it's the middle of the night!

At 8:42 PM, Blogger ~ YSRN ~ said...

Very profound posts, FTJ. I love your blog!

I grew up in a house of 9 people - lots of activity and hardly any alone time. I've now lived alone for about 7 years and I am very happy. While I have a huge social network and most of my siblings are near, and I have a bunch of four-legged children, I am very comfortable doing things by myself. I think it really just goes to show how adaptable human beings are.

I'm sorry I missed meeting you in SC.

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous GraphicsinMind-Ramy said...

What a wonderful thing to come to that realization. Very moving and thought provoking blog. Thank you.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Vox Vixen said...

Excellent blog. I think by nature am a soliditary person, so I am enjoying this period in my life where I am needed less. Before I was always someone's daughter, someone's student, someone's wife, someon'e emloyee, someone's mom. Now I can just enjoying being me.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Sally said...

It's me....Karen...uh...Sally....uh....Karen. Well, there really only is one of us. I love your blogs. Great stories. I've always felt a little bit sorry for people who always have to have company to enjoy themselves.....I think one of the best things in the world to do is to sit in a coffee shop, long after my lunch is eaten, and work on a crossword puzzle. Somedays, I stuff the bills in my purse and go to Starbucks where I'll sit writing out checks. I know that's not the best way to pay bills these days, but writing those checks out is one of those things I've always enjoyed...of course you have to disassociate the action from the money disappearing from the bank account.....

At 5:14 AM, Blogger webweaver said...

I love your blog! What a great "voice" you have already developed for yourself. This post particularly resonated with me - I love my "me" time too. In fact, I realise now that I really need it. "Solitude" - what a wonderful word that is. I've added your blog to my bloroll and I'll be back to read more... and often.

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