Saturday, March 12, 2011

Independence and Loneliness

I’m tired of doing this alone. I’m tired of being the only one around to solve problems, pay the bills, discipline the kids. I’m tired of not having anyone to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with me.  I want someone to come home to at the end of the day, someone to say goodnight to as I curl up next to him and drift off to sleep.  I want someone to talk to besides my teenage kids.  I want someone who wants to be with me and I want to be with him.  I want someone who understands and encourages my alone time.  Because I do need my alone time.  I don't want to be alone, but I also don't want to be smothered.  I like my independence.

I’ve been this way my whole life. I guess I’m sort of wired for it. My family loves to remind me that from the time I could talk I went around saying “I’ll do it!”. And I did. Whether I was doing the dishes by myself at five years old after Thanksgiving Dinner or exploring the creepy basement below our house, I was always doing things by myself, off on my own, in my own world. I envisioned myself doing something big in my life, being someone important, doing things my way.

One day when I was only four years old, I had been playing outside by myself. I went inside and told my daddy I was going to the store. Apparently, I left the house and went on my very first adventure. Walking out of our neighborhood, I crossed the railroad tracks, made my way through downtown Elk City, right past Montgomery Ward where Grandma Peach worked, and eventually walked out onto I-40. Fortunately, an old babysitter of mine saw me, brought me into her house and called my parents. She asked them if they knew where I was. Relieved that I was alive and well, they came to pick me up. They told me later that the experience hadn’t scared me at all.  It would seem that the butt busting I got from my dad didn't scare me either because I have continued to go off on my own in pursuit of new adventures.

When I was in elementary school, I would leave on a Saturday morning and roam the streets of Sentinel on my bike. Lost in my thoughts, I became characters in a book, solving the world's problems.  I traveled the globe in my imagination, exploring lands I had read about, dreamed about.  I loved being off by myself, doing my thing.  These were the days when kids really could have the freedom to roam about unsupervised.  I loved it.  But maybe we were a little more supervised than we realized.  I remember one day skidding into the gravel in front of our little house on Whitmer Street and falling down.  I shouted, "Shit!"  Mom heard me.  I think that's why I remember the vile taste of soap so vividly.

We moved to a different house in Sentinel that was close to downtown.  I was in fifth grade.  In the mornings before school, I would go sit on the back porch, dreaming about my life.  I would sneak away from the house and walk downtown.  I didn't tell anyone I was going.  I felt so independent, so brave, so rebellious and secretive.  First of all, Sentinel is a tiny Oklahoma town.  There was no reason to even BE brave.  Second, I found out years later that Mom always knew when I left.  She could see me from the kitchen window and was watching me the whole time.  She never said a word to me.

So, I have loved my alone time from a very early age.  But even then, I dreamed of a soulmate to have by my side, exploring the world with me.  I envisioned what he would look like.  I dreamed about the life we would build, the family we would have, the adventures we would share.  My dreams would be fueled by the movies...old black and white movies, cheesy love stories, it didn't matter. In my little world in Sentinel, Oklahoma, movies and books gave me an escape, a vision of a life that I could have someday.

I went through middle school with boyfriends here and there.  When I moved to Mustang in High School, I only really had two boyfriends.  I didn't date.  I only got asked out a couple of times.  It kind of made me feel like a freak.  I didn't think I was ugly or overly weird.  I still don't know what the deal was.  Maybe that independent streak was so strong it scared the guys away. 

Off to college...I dated some, but nothing really serious.  I just kept thinking that surely by now someone would have come along for me.  At nineteen, I met the man who I would end up marrying.  Sadly, I felt washed up at nineteen.  Tony was the only guy who had seemed totally into me.  He wined me and dined me.  Being a poor college student struggling for money, he introduced me to a new world that I had never experienced.  One with money.  Not a lot of money, but certainly more than I had at the time.

We had what I thought of as a grown up relationship.  We dated for three years.  I remember some of his behaviors as being the opposite of what I was looking for in a man, but decided it was the fact that he was still young and would grow out of them.  Boy was I wrong.

Fast forward....almost eleven years of marriage, divorce, met someone nice that I dated for a while.  He wasn't into me as much as I was into him.  He found someone new while we were still dating.  I started seeing someone else who had started out as a friend.  We were together for six years until he found someone new while we were still dating.  We had been on again and off again for years.  I felt I had finally found my soul mate with him even though we drove each other crazy.  But in the end, I guess it just wasn't right for us.  I wish him all the best with his life.  I truly want him to be happy.  It left me wondering what was wrong with me though.  Everyone around me always had great things to say about me.  But the men in my life.....that didn't go so well.  Maybe I just was making bad choices.  Maybe I needed them in my life to help teach me and to help me become who I am today.

But now, I'm ready to have someone.  Sonja Peach once told me that when I was ready I would find him.  I think I'm ready.  I feel like I'm ready.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, I continue to go on my solo adventures.  I continue to dream of having someone to come home to who is interested in hearing about my discoveries....someone who also wants to go with me on the journey sometimes.  And sometimes just wants to let me go alone.


turquoisemoon said...

Ooh Kelli, I can so relate. I NEED alone time. Always have... Just as you, I roamed, played, whatever, by myself, as a child. I think I finally figured out what was "different" about me and why the boys liked me, but weren't really into me. I was too intense...still am. I studied people, places and things with probably too much intensity. I'll stare at a piece of art, nature, whatever...and think. I wonder about the artist, the history, the story while others around are bored stiff. Guys, in particular, really don't like this trait. They're looking for a more frivolous fraulein, one who flirts and is coy and teases them...not one that studies them (which I do) Looking back (I'm 62) I'm glad that I did my thing, my way. I know you get lonely, but in the grand scheme, you're better off, just enjoying your life, by yourself, until someone just happens to like you who is on the same wave length. They're out there, just hang in there and keep on being yourself...a happy, satisfied self!!! xoxox

mom said...

My prayers are with you. You do need, and deserve, a special life partner. I hope he will appear soon. Love you

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