Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Sunday, February 17, 2013


This weekend, my wife and I were invited to the birthday celebrations of an old friend of hers, up in Scotland. We could only afford for one of us to go, so I encouraged her to book flights and get on up there and have fun. I've actually been looking forward to it: the munchkin is away too, so I am getting my first 100% solo weekend since E and I first got serious, and my first nights alone in a bed since we moved in together in September 2011.

I won't say I haven't enjoyed some solo time, because I have. I've watched things that E won't watch with me (LotR, yay!) and got a heap of stuff done around the house that is just easier with no one else underfoot. Plus, loooong uninterrupted bath, exercising with no one around to see, and so on. A break from people is good.

But now I'm starting to feel a little lonely, and more significantly, I'm channelling the deep, disturbing loneliness of so many solitary hours in my 20s.

I get what I call 'location flashbacks' all the time. There is usually no rhyme or reason to these: as in, I'll be fishing my travel card out of my purse and suddenly an image of the intersection of Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road will pop into my head. These images never make any sense or have any discernible trigger, so I generally ignore them.

Today, however, all of the images have been of my house in Goomalling or my flat in Sydney. The two places where I spent the longest, loneliest hours of my life so far. The two had a lot in common: removed from my family and existing friends, struggling to make new friends in a new place, very uncertain about myself and my life.

In both of those places, I was surrounded by silence. I remember it well... long empty day after long empty day. I pottered about, frittering away time, lost in my depression and confusion and ennui and need. I told myself I enjoyed the quiet, that I could never stand living with a housemate, but in the end it was a comforting lie. I did not like being alone, and it was not good for me.

I've learned a lot since then - about myself, about how to make friends, about how to meet my own needs and not fear them. But for some reason today's empty, silent house has really thrown me.

It's a good reminder, I think. Even though the two members of my little family, with all their quirks, may sometimes drive me to long for silence... I don't really want it. Not a return to the long, empty solitude and the deep sadness that went with it. My life now is full, happy and satisfying, and I'm very grateful for that. The years of loneliness are gone, and I don't need to fear them any more.

Typing all this out has helped me process what I've been feeling this evening, and I'm not feeling maudlin and desperate like I was at the beginning. But I'm posting it nonetheless... to remind me why people are a good thing!