Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Me versus We

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about alone time and balance. 

I have always been someone that was comfortable being by myself.  I was in a conversation in which a friend of a friend was in a toxic relationship but was terrified to leave her live in boyfriend because she was scared to be by herself.  Not like, scared of burglars, like scared of sitting in silence in an empty room scared.  I remember thinking that was ridiculous.  I am by no means scared of being alone, but I am noticing that I am rarely by myself.

Let’s rephrase that - I am never alone.  Flash and I don’t live together, but we probably spend as much, if not more time with each other than couples that do.  Now, because we don’t actually live together, I feel like when we’re together we need to be doing something.  Meaning, I don’t feel like I can just up and go to a random yoga class if Flash is over because he doesn’t live there and I’d either have to ask him to go home or leave him there by himself.  Most of the time it’s fine, I plan out things I’m going to do in advance anyway.  It’s not that I want to go anywhere, it’s just that I’m aware that I am accountable for how I spend my time.

My workplace is small, I have 4 coworkers.  It’s a design office where everyone spends their entire day at the computer with their headphones on.  It took me a while to get used to the utter and complete silence that permeates the office every day.  The office is set up in such a way that we cannot see one another.  Three of the four coworker are in partially enclosed offices and one sits right beside me with a divider wall between us just high enough that I’d have to stand to see him.  Even though I feel isolated at work, I am aware that I am not alone, that someone is regularly looking over my shoulder.

I’m sort of in that place where I’m always in the presence of people.  My boyfriend, my roommate, my coworkers, my dog.  I’m craving some space.  I decided to do the happiness project because I read the book and though it was great, but also because of this nagging feeling that always follows me around, this general dissatisfaction with life.  I’m not happy with my progress in the project so far and I’m starting to think that I’m not staying in touch with why I’m doing this, what I want to get out of it.  I feel unable to think about what I want when I have to factor another person into my decisions.  What I eat for dinner or what I’m going to watch on TV or when I’m going to run errands, all these decision are affected by the fact that I’m not doing them by myself.

Maybe I need to take a book and go sit in a coffee shop by myself, or just schedule in some alone time.

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