Someone asked me the other day if I was lonely. I said: "I'm alone, but I'm not lonely. There's a difference." I smiled a convincing smile and turned my attention back to the Christmas tunes the jazz musicians were playing at Club Deluxe in San Francisco.
It didn't take more than a minute before I realized that I had lied. I'm alone and I'm lonely. But I gave the company line because I said what I wanted to be true. I want to believe that just because I'm single doesn't mean I'm lonely. And honestly, it's hard to believe that I have time to feel anything but busy. I'm in graduate school. I've got two young boys. I'm writing a book. I've been packing and organizing and purging clutter in preparation for my upcoming move. On January 1, I'm moving out of my San Francisco apartment AND out of the house I share with my ex and into my very own house. It will be the first time I've ever had my own place without roommates. Ever. Yes, the boys will live there half the week with me, but it will be my very own place with all my very own stuff.
But even with all that busyness, my brain still finds time to feel a bit of loneliness as well. Especially this time of year. Especially this time of year this year. Even though I'm often with people--my kids, friends, schoolmates, visiting family from out of town, with a date--they can't replace the comfort of having a significant other. I love and adore my kids, my friends, my family. But they can't provide that special feeling that makes my stomach flip, that makes me smile to myself, that equals comfort and the security of not wondering if I'll be solo on a Saturday night.
It's not that I'm not happy. I am happy. Really, honestly, and truly! I swear! I have so many things to be happy about. And I have so many wonderful people in my life to be grateful for. But like so many singles out there, I'd like a companion. A special friend. There is something to be said for waking up in proximity of someone you care about, who cares about you. There is something to be said for sitting next to someone while you hold hands under the table. There is something to be said for giggling on the sofa while your boyfriend tells you a story that you never heard before.
Sure, I can wake up alone in my bed and feel good. Yes, I can go to out by myself on Saturday nights. Yes, I can sit on my sofa and giggle while Therapist Friend tells me about her crazy adventures with her former colleagues.
I can do those things. I'm capable. But I'd prefer the first version. I guess I don't want to be lonely or alone.