“I vant to be alone.” – silent film actress Greta Garbo
I left my husband in January 2017 after ten years of marriage. It was the hardest, most unavoidable decision in my life.
Because I didn’t just leave him, I left a house, a community, a routine – and a partner with whom I could share the details of my life.
The first thing I noticed when I moved into my own apartment was the silence. It was so overwhelming that I would do anything, go anywhere, to avoid being home alone.
As the months went by and I adjusted to solitude – and eventual singlehood – something interesting happened: I learned to not just enjoy, but actually crave, alone time.
Which makes sharing a small cabin with my mom on the eight-day cruise I’m currently on a bit of a challenge.
It’s not Mom’s fault.
My mom is actually easy to live with .. she has a wonderful sense of humor, we get a long great, she doesn’t snore.
She’s just there.
It’s the same beef I had with my now ex-husband. When I wanted the place to myself, there he’d be on the couch. It wasn’t his fault; he lived there.
And I reacted to my resentment with, well, resentment.
I’d go lock myself upstairs and silently seethe while he lounged away, completely oblivious to the fact I was mad because I wanted the house to myself.
Passive-aggressiveness at it finest.
So, back to Mom.
Here’s the part where I get to put on my big girl pants.
Instead of doing the silent seething I’ve perfected over the years, I get to be proactive and take care of myself.
I get to act like an adult.
Over the course of the cruise I’ve learned to make my own alone time. I found a quiet lounge on Deck 5 in which I do my daily writing.
I work out every morning and take walks in the evenings. I make sure I do my spiritual work so I’m in a good place.
And because I’m taking care of myself, I’m enjoying my time with my mom immensely.
Funny how that works.
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