Friday, February 17, 2012

14. I live alone

I currently live alone. 

When I was in college, I was involved in a long distance relationshp.  It was torture.  This was before the days of skype, texting, Facetime, and e-mail was just beginning to develop, but let me state that we did not have it and we did not use it.  This was when you actually paid for long distance by the minute.  When you paid attention when the phone company called and offered you a better deal on long distance charges, particularly since I wasn't the only one using our phone in a long distance relationship. 

So, communication was not necessarily a daily affair.  We actually wrote letters.  On paper.  With stamps.  We couldn't call every day - we were both students and couldn't afford it.  I'm sure we talked about once a week.  But that's a long time not to be connected.

When we finally ended the relationship due to my loneliness, I recognized and realized that I was not a long-distance kinda gal.  I needed my significant other to be closer to me so that I could be more connected.

In my thirties, I had the relationship I dreamed of in my twenties.  I was living with my partner, and we had a household, the typical white-picket fence kind of existance.  An adult relationship.  I was happy and felt connected.  I had that daily touch, and I was not lonely.

During that relationship, I decided to go back to school for a graduate degree.  This all while working full-time.  This was a lot on my plate.  My time became scarce.  And the demands on that time were heavy.  A good friend of mine was a successful lawyer and involved in a relationship with someone who lived about two hours away.  They talked regularly - I presume daily - and then spent their weekends together.  She had "her" time to do what she needed to do without worrying about getting home to him, and then they had "their" time to do things together and be together.  They had separate time. 

And while in school, and trying to juggle, I suddenly became very jealous of that separation of space.  I suddenly became envious of a long distance relationship, and recognized that now that I was older, I might actually be able to sustain a long distance relationship, and in fact, I might actually want a long distance relationship.  My wife was very supportive of my endeavors, but she had her needs and ants, too.  She missed seeing me, wanted to know when I would be home, and wanted my attention - ideally undivided - when I was home to be with her.  I can't blame her.  Quality attention is much more important than quantity of attention, and I was not giving her the attention she needed to feel that she was special in my life.  But despite our attempts to set "date nights" and other time for ourselves so that we could have that quality time, it was difficult to do so.

I envied the long distance relationship.  The ability to compartmentalize.

And at some point during that relationship, I decided that if I were involved again, I might enjoy NOT living with someone else. 

One of the annoying things I used to do was leave stuff around the house, and let the papers pile.  One of the annoying things my wife used to do was tidy up after me and clean up those piles.  I have a visual / spatial memory.  I have a pretty good memory of where I left things.  If I am in my office surrounded by stacks of papers, I am pretty good at quickly pinpointing what pile something I might be looking for is in, and have a pretty good idea about how far down the pile it is.  With the ADD, I wasn't too great at filing and instead, felt that the papers needed to be out to give me a visual reminder of what needed to be done.  I know that this isn't unusual.

That all works fine and dandy unless someone moves your pile of papers.  And their memory isn't as good as yours to remember what they did with it.  Usually it was put in a plastic bag somewhere. 

So, it'd be nice to have my own space where no-one moved things, and I could find them. 

I haven't really had an opportunity to try out my theory.  I haven't been involved with someone since who has been available to live with me.  In fact, it was quite a complicated relationshp that ended up being long distance at the end.  I did confirm that I can handle being in a long distance relationship better than I could thanks to free long distance, texting, instant messaging, e-mailing.  But I was still lonely, too. 

I think, though, if I were to have the ideal relationship, me and my partner would live in the same "complex" - whether it be apartment buildings, street, or an actual duplex, but have separate space.  Close enough to always be together, but still have a room of our own.

Ah, but that's another post.


  1. Ah dang! I guess I'll have to wait for the other post to leave my comment. I had something relevant to say to that last paragraph, but never mind.

  2. I already wrote the "other" post... Pt 2?