Wednesday, May 17, 2006

In the cave

My mother always used to tell me, “Be careful what you wish for—you just might get it.” At the time, I didn’t understand why getting what you want could be anything other than a good thing, but as an adult it’s easy to see what she meant. The grass will always be greener and once you’re standing on what looked like fresh, new green grass, you notice that there are weeds and goose poop and that the ground is damp. Nothing is ever perfect and there are always challenges in every situation, no matter how rosy your glasses are.

When I moved in with Lunchboy, I was too happy to think much about his travel and whether it would affect me. I was so glad to get away from my smelly roommate that loneliness didn’t factor into my thought process. I mean, when you move in with someone you don’t think of it in terms of loneliness because, you know, you’re living with another person who’s around a lot. But Lunchboy travels 4 days a week, so I have the place to myself until he gets home on Thursday nights. I have my life and I keep busy but there are plenty of days when it gets lonely and isolating all the same.

Historically, I’m bad at living alone. My hermit tendencies emerge and I become a lazy, antisocial couch potato who leaves the house only for work and exercise. Take a class or get together with friends? Too much effort--much easier to stay home with the cats and watch reruns of Scrubs on TiVo. Then comes the depression and the mass consumption of those Whole Foods vegetable crisps and the next thing you know, I don’t remember how to interact with people anymore. It’s a slippery slope and one I can feel myself going down right now. The rain didn’t help—all I wanted to do was be home with the cats, reading a book and drinking tea. But now the sun is out and I feel the same way. Want to hear about the cats? I can tell you all about them because when Lunchboy is away and I have a quiet day at work, the cats are the only living creatures that I speak to directly, outside of random phone calls and that doesn’t count. I’m turning into a 31-year old cat lady.

Needless to say, it’s not a great pattern to get in. I remember living with Glenn in LA when he was never home and I got very resentful. I was unhappy because he wasn’t around much, but when he was in the house I was even more unhappy because he couldn’t understand why his absence affected me so much. Clearly it didn’t bother him at all. But what’s the point of being in a relationship if you end up doing everything by yourself?

It’s different this time but it’s still an adjustment. Maybe this is the time when I learn to be more socially active or get involved in a volunteer group or something. Renate once told me that you feel the most alone when you’re in a relationship with someone and there’s a lot of truth in that. Then again, an old shrink told me that if you feel alone in your relationship that something is wrong, so what the hell do I know.


Anonymous said...

It jarring how quickly feelings of isolation and loneliness can creep in after only a few days of darkness and rain, though New England seems to have had a solid week of monsoon-like weather. Exercise and cat therapy are killer therapies, no doubt... but go volunteer already.

Being a Big Sister or a tutor for ESL or for a literacy program could be the perfect combo of altruism and a good reminder for both how good things are (the cup half-full) and getting you out of your self.

Beware the slippery slope; your instincts are good.

And maybe go download Skype and call Lunchboy, 'cause they now are allowing free long distance calls from PC to landline or cell phone.

ichatteralot said...

There are never any correct answers in any relationship.

WendyKat said...

ah but at least you do the exercise thing... i just go home, talk to my cat (or not), go to bed, wake up, go to work... lather, rinse, repeat.

i'm in cambridge too by the way. so i totally know the deal with the rain.