Tag Archives: alone

Other Opinions continue to Obliterate

Other Opinions continue to Obliterate

Being alone can suck. I have never been one to deny this, but lately I have been one who pretends to ignore it. Luckily I have not yet entered the bitter phase during which I am jealous of all the couples I pass and angry about their happiness. Quite the opposite actually, I see others and feel relieved that such a thing as everlasting love may be achievable. It is true that I have had horrible long-term love, enough to make me doubt if such a thing is possible. But then I spend a delayed Christmas with my brother-in-law, sister and nephew and begin to wonder. The unexpected meet, the unplanned romance, this equation may actually lead to lasting love. Watching a small family is enough to inspire hope. I choose to be hopeful as opposed to the alternative (be jealous).

A long time ago I made a personal oath to never judge a relationship that I was not a apart of. It can be so easy to pass judgment that whenever possible I would like to avoid it. Especially since I have repeatedly been on the other end, the judged end. Spending time with family recently I have been reminded of this, of all the times the people I love unconditionally have doubted my taste in men and made fun of me for it. I know the small jabs will never stop, the slight remarks over my past boyfriends will keep rolling off their tongues. I can’t say it hurts me deeply, but it would also be a lie to say it doesn’t make me want to cry. To hear those closest to me laugh about old dates I have had, and without being prompted force me to relive old fights and choices is enough to make me never want to open my heart again.

I couldn’t count on two hands the number of times people have reminded me, have guilted me down memory lane over old boyfriends. Even when I am trying to be positive and say I will be single for a year. Their doubt radiates off of them, their “friendly” jokes sink into me and while they laugh playfully I urgently change the conversation. It is so easy to laugh as an outsider, forgetting that even in my mistakes I had emotion and experiences, things that are buried inside of me no matter how much I later came to regret it. It is so easy to laugh about a glimpse of my relationship you witnessed that was flawed, especially when you weren’t there for the rest.

So yes, I am lonely. And yes I do live vicariously through happy couples around me. But no, I don’t wish to be in any one of them. All I wish for is a chance to be free. It’s easy to be single, to move on personally from what was, the hard part is for others to let you do the same.

Me always prefers a We

Me always prefers a We

the next inevitable boyfriend?

The word “girlfriend” without a name attached to the beginning sounds emotionless and impersonal. It’s the name that precedes the title that supplies it with meaning, giving the title of “girlfriend” its identity. The installment of his name declares, “I am his.” My own name is not there, just my role: “girlfriend.” It all becomes about my relation to him. Ironically, being part of a couple means losing part of myself.

Choosing to be a girlfriend is my conscious way to avoid the loneliness of being with myself. By doing so I am lowering my guard and allowing someone else in. I am okay with exposing myself to someone else because it keeps me from exposing my true identity to myself. This conscience act of deferral is my favorite role to play. As a girlfriend I have taken on new sides of myself with each relationship. Once a means of evasion, entering relationships has also become an outlet for my minor acting passion. I can become a new Sara with every new boyfriend. This may sound slightly disturbed and manipulative, but I promise it is never a conscious thing. I truly believe the new traits I take on or his passions that I claim as my own. I have been a handful of different Saras in my life, each time rejuvenating a new sense of self while also losing any semblance of honesty.

I was in the 6th grade when all my friends became fixated on getting boyfriends. Suddenly everyone started to pair off. As I watched all my friends become part of a couple, my desire for a boyfriend of my own grew. After a week of whispers and he said she said conversations between everyone except my crush and me, I had a boyfriend. Brian (names will be changed from here on out) asked me out. Well technically he didn’t say the words, but Sam told me he liked me and I told Lindsey that I liked him and the decision was final: we were dating, which only works in the 6th grade. Brian was my first “boyfriend” and we never once hung out alone. Our lack of a connection didn’t matter. I was Brian’s girlfriend. The alliteration made me smile as the words rolled off my tongue. I was part of a couple for the first time, and defined myself by this. In spite of the fact we never had a private conversation, I referred to everything in the “we.” We were meant to be. We both had brown eyes, older siblings, and lived within a block of the school. It was destiny. One “date” (a chaperoned excursion with a group of friends to the movies) and four lunch periods later we broke up. The quickness of our relationship didn’t matter; for that one week I loved him. Well I puppy loved him, and claimed to really really like him! The break up was even less official than the initial decision to date had been. Brian fainted in the school play (he had locked his knees and lost blood circulation) and things went downhill from there. We started talking even less than we had before (if that was even possible) and we were soon both single again. I was devastated for a day, cried to my mom, thought my life would never go on, and then found a new and inconsequential relationship.

High school started and so did my search for the perfect boyfriend. In my mind, the next four years had already been mapped out for me by episodes of Saved by the Bell and I was determined to find my Zach Morris. Who I found sophomore year was more a combination of Zach with a heavy dose of Screech. Casey and I started dating halfway through the year and what started as a goofy friendship never evolved into anything else. For two months I was Casey’s girlfriend, the guy everyone loved to invite along for a good time and who insured laughter. Casey was the class clown, hardly taking himself seriously, and while I was with him my sense of humor multiplied. Dating the comedian meant people expected me to be funny. So I stopped taking myself so seriously and gave the audience what they wanted. In the two months that Casey and I were together we may have kissed once, but its awkwardness and uncomfortably led to no future make out sessions. As soon as my braces came off and the same old jokes stopped being funny, Casey and I broke up. I can’t say whether he dumped me or I dumped him, or perhaps it was the most mutual break up in history. It had been platonic from the beginning and it ended without a kiss or a tear shed.

The label that has stuck with me the longest was Andy’s girlfriend. I sometimes catch myself still thinking this is who I am and we broke up two years ago. My high school career ended with Andy and half my college experience was defined by him. For over three years I was his girlfriend. As the time progressed in Andy and my relationship I continued to fall. Whether I was falling for Andy or for the identity he gave me I cannot really be sure. In essence he offered me something I had never experienced before. He showed me that I was capable of being a part of a couple. Over the course of three years I came to find that I could work and function seamlessly as a part of a team. It all came to a halt the day I realized I wanted to just is on my own team.

When Andy and I ended I lost more than half of myself. I didn’t understand who I was anymore and what it meant to not be some one’s girlfriend. After a few months of the break up we eventually got back together because I wasn’t brave enough to stand-alone. He had become all I knew and I grew exhausted in the months we were separate trying to figure out who I was. Instead of trying to find myself, I fell back into the comfort that I knew and took up the role of girlfriend once again.

I managed to remain single for six months after Andy. I had an entire summer to myself. It was time I spent isolated and depressed, avoiding friends and watching myself fade into nothing. I was single and in my mind that made me worthless.

My solution? Date! This is when I met Henry, who I dated through most of Junior year. Only to break with him when my emotional health plummeted and I took time off school. Senior year brought Jamie. The rock star conservative type who pushed me to try new things and who I attached to because I was determined to meet a husband in college. Graduation rolled around and my moving to Ohio ended things. Home and single less than two months I met Greg. Online dating and insecurity combined to both create and finish that relationship.

So here I am. Single for sixty days. My two month threshold usually makes me antsy. I have been a Me for long enough to wonder if I work better as a We. For now the comfortable choice is not an option, I just need to keep reminding myself of that before I end up with the label of New Guy’s Girlfriend.

Call Me Sara Golightly

Call Me Sara Golightly

With a friend on both sides of me last night I felt genuinely alone. Normally the opposite would be true, but somehow in the middle of girl talk and a slap happy style movie I felt the absence. The absence that usually enters my life when I am antsy for a new relationship. Aware of my bad relationship habits and tendency to jump in for the wrong reasons I was able to store away the numb for a few hours. But, as I went to sleep it snuck back in, reminding me that I feel the most alive and lovable in the beginning phases of love. That having a crush inspires me. That feeling liked validates me. That sensation of knowing someone is thinking of me, and that person may just be a call or text away. All of that was gone.

And as I lay staring at the ceiling I tried to imagine him. I went through a mental phone book trying to decide who out there in the universe I could text and share my empty heart with. He wasn’t in there. His number doesn’t exist. So I fell asleep alone with my thoughts. The funny thing is I woke up. I didn’t die of loneliness in my sleep, I didn’t fade away because no one out there was thinking of me. In fact I woke up well rested. My unspoken theory that a loveless life will lead to nothingness was proved inaccurate, even if just for one night. I woke up, just as I have for the last 53 days, and I lived. On my own, yes, but empty? I don’t think so.

I am starting to quite like the single life, the rate of disappointment is consistently dwindling and I no longer need him. Funny thing is I don’t need him is not one specific person, it’s really the gender as a whole. For once no one is standing out in my life and I am stunningly, fabulously, okay with that.