Monday, September 20, 2010

Alone but not lonely...BUT

What do you do when someone makes a comment to you and you just can't seem to let it go. After some time you realize that comment has crawled under your skin and sort of set up shop there…coming out to bother you when you least expect it to. How do you get rid of it or how do you get past it?

Maybe within the last 3-4 months I had a friend comment to me “Yeah but you prefer being alone.” And I remember the comment immediately stinging at the time, but I said nothing. I didn’t know if I wasn’t “taking it the right/wrong way” or something along those lines. Perhaps the person meant it as a compliment? I don’t really know. All I do know at this point is it has grown to irk the hell outta me and I don’t know how to shake it.

I am worried that perhaps there has been a misconception of me. And maybe it isn’t just by this person, but by more people who know me. Or (uh-oh) maybe also people who only sort-of know me. Or (gasp!) everyone thinks this of me. This is the runaway thought train I have been riding on this one for the past couple months.

So now I am truly worried that people think I L-O-V-E being alone. No, I am not lonely but I do spend a good chunk of time alone. I think maybe because I have always been so independent and capable and flat out GOOD at being able to handle so much on my own, people may now think I love it to pieces. I will go ahead and admit to anyone reading this that no, I don’t love it. As I get older, I enjoy it less and less. But am I stuck here now? I have always been a pretty private person when it comes to sharing relationship details with friends (i.e., just because I have a great date, I don’t run around telling anyone who will listen) but has that now led people in my life to think I like being alone most of my time?

Just because someone is skilled at cooking doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate the offer to help them set up/clean up or at least bring a bottle of wine. Just because someone is good with kids doesn’t necessarily mean they want to babysit someone else’s on a whim. Just because someone is great at organizing and planning parties doesn’t mean I think they would get a great kick out of planning my own party or event. Just because someone is good at doing their own taxes doesn’t mean they want to do everyone else's. So why then just because I seem to be really good at being alone is it just assumed I like to be left that way?

I work in a really tough field and day-to-day working environment. I am not looking for any sort of blue ribbon or kudos for that. But maybe no one knows that I get more harsh words than kind ones throughout the days/weeks. Maybe they don’t really know what is really and truly involved with me doing it all on my own. Am I grateful I have the ability to do it successfully? You betcha. Does it mean I love it? No flipping way.

I can’t explain why, but that friend’s comment from a few months back has been bothering the crap out of me now and again for the past few months…and over the last week or two I think I may have thought of it every day. And worried that just because you are good at something, that everyone thinks you like it that way.


  1. you know what I would do, i would say to that friend "hey, you know that comment you made about me liking being alone, well it's not true, you know, i like my company, but i would love to share my life with someone and i just wanted to clear up that misconception you have of me". you know i had this same problem about 8 years ago when i was on my own, everybody felt i never needed help because i was so independent, which i am, but i talked to them about it, they still kept their misconception of me in their mind and i realized, hey they didn't know me at all... so i found people who did really get to know me... don't let it irk you too much, it takes away too much of your own personal precious energy.

  2. I think Average Girl has great advice. Say something to her.

    But I know what you mean. When I was 18, one of my girlfriends said to me that she didn't think I would get married until I was 40. I didn't start wanting children until I was almost 30 so at that time, I didn't know what a ticking clock was. But even then, even not wanting to be a mother, I still wanted to share my life with someone. And wanted someone to want me. To this day, that comment irks me. More today than it ever did 10 years ago. She said it 14 years ago. And it has me paranoid that she is right. I don't want to wait another eight years to share my life. Even if I am good at being alone. Being good at something doesn't mean it's my life's desire. Listen, I like to bake pies but you don't see me opening up a pie shop. You know.

  3. It's ok to be "good" at being alone. I see so many of my friends that cannot handle being without a BF for more then a week. That is not me - at all...
    But, I think you need to let it roll of your back. If this girl brings it up again, then mention how you feel or if it easily fits into a conversation - that you look forward to being a pair.