Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hiding Places

In an undeveloped cul-de-sac, there's a little outlet that's a perfect fit for my car. There's no one around. I go there when I'm not ready to go home, when I need to be completely, utterly, alone, away, disconnected. When I park there, I turn off the car and lock my doors, and I just sit. After just a few minutes of solitude, my mind is clear. I feel rejuvenated.

I've always had similar spots. In college, there was a couch in an empty part of the student center, where I would nap between classes, curled up under my jacket. When I worked for the airlines, I would take my breaks in the abandoned areas of the terminal. Airports can be extremely relaxing. At my last job, I found a dark, quiet hallway to escape to. In high school, I would sometimes eat lunch in an empty parking lot, sheltered by a row of pine trees.

Even in the city, it's possible to hide. As a matter of fact, it's even easier. People don't notice you there. I love melting into crowds. One of the best places to hide is the mall food court. I have spent many hours sipping my Sbarro soda and watching people there.

These little secret hiding spots are important. Ever since I was making private blanket-forts in the living room, I've made sure there is always somewhere to disappear when things get to be a little too much. Solitude is so therapeutic.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Some people float through life like jellyfish. They let life happen to them. They find it perplexing that anyone would grab hold of destiny and steer it in another direction. These people would much rather stay in a miserable situation, bellyaching their days away, than take a step off the ledge into anything unknown. Most of them are unable to see past the tips of their noses, and they feel perfectly safe and snug in their tiny life-bubbles. Those are the people who find it "brave" to venture out into the abyss without a safety net.

I find myself drawn to people who aren't afraid of change, who chase down what they want out of life, who don't make me feel like a deviant for my choices. Those are the magnetic, amusing, refreshing people, the people with a panoramic perspective, the people who don't find change "brave," but fundamental - as necessary as the air they breathe.

I recently found out that a friend accepted a job that will require a move from New York to California. He didn't even blink - this is his dream job. I have friends that would scoff at such a decision. I'm ecstatic for him, and anyone who knows me can attest that in his position, I wouldn't have hesitated for an instant. Opportunity doesn't come knocking. You have to seize it.

I've been called a wanderer, a lost soul, and a nomad, but I believe I simply haven't found what I'm looking for. And I refuse to settle for anything else. In the mean time, my life is dynamic and surprising. Tomorrow is unpredictable and full of mystery, not foreseeable and mundane. I can't imagine forgoing those untethered leaps. That is foreign to me. I never know how to respond when people call my choices "brave." There are brave people in this world, but I don't equate fearlessness with things like living lean, moving alone, or changing jobs. Finding your way through the darkness, not flinching at life's punches There is no other way.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hermit Perks

After living alone for about six years, I've spent the last 16 months NOT living alone. But who's counting?  The ability to live alone is the biggest consolation for being single. It might not seem like much, but consider the following perks:

  • You can have candy breakfasts, pancake dinners, and beer brunches, and no one will criticize. Personally, this is a huge factor, as my diet is simply embarassing. I love that I can come home and unabashedly dip my french fries in my Frosty. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. There is no such thing as sharing when you live alone. If you buy a package of Sausalitos, you are guaranteed to have that deliciousness to look forward to after work. If you order pizza, you choose the toppings. Every time. And you get all the leftovers. 
  • If I want to sit around in nothing but a belt and socks (eating fries and a Frosty), who's going to stop me? You can dress however you want. Now, I know when you're married, this is generally the same. But when you're single and live alone, you can take it to the extreme. I lavish the fact that I can be slovenly every weekend. I have no problem wearing the same baggy t-shirt, pajama pants, and knee socks from Friday evening through Sunday evening...without showering. Hey, everyone knows it's bad to wash your hair every day! 
  • Seinfeld re-runs. No one else appreciates them on a daily basis. When I have sole control of the remote, this is what is showing after work. Yes, I have seen them all - several times. What's your point, exactly?
  • Showering with the door open is something I will never, ever take for granted. I despise, despise closing the door when I shower. I hate that the bathroom gets all steamy and slimy. And even worse? Getting dressed in that steamy, slimy, sweaty bathroom. Gross. When you shower with the door open (which you can freely do when you live alone), the whole place is your fabulous dressing room. You're not confined to a slippery, hot 5x5 sweat-box. And on that note...
  • You can try on as many outfits as you want before work or a date...or going to the grocery store. And you can leave the runners-up flung all over the room for as long as you like. Because...
  • Yo' mama don't live here. You don't have to make your bed, unload the dishwasher, fold the laundry...until you're darn-well ready to. For me, that's usually on Sunday. But it doesn't have to be. A major high point of living alone is that you never, ever have to clean up after anyone else but yourself.
  • Need milk? Go get it. Want to hit the mall? Who's stopping you? Feel like throwing a dinner party? Start planning. You can do anything you want when you live alone - without working around anyone else's schedule. You can be governed by whim.

So, while I hesitate to leave my current living situation because it is cost-effective and temporary, I feel like I need to take advantage of my singledom. Right now I'm really missing out on the best part.