here i go, again on my own

whitesnake, circa 1987
i’m taking a page from amanda’s book.

there are two sides to me – the only child/loner who can entertain herself for hours and the social butterfly who can’t stand to be alone and needs to feel the acceptance and love from others.

hmmmmm…how the hell does one work that out?

well.

let’s focus on the part where i need to feel included and accepted.  this isn’t a new concept, i’m not the only person who craves these things, but it’s certainly been a running theme in my life, as far as relationships are concerned.

fear of abandonment, of being alone, of being left behind, of simply not being included in friday night plans…fear of feeling like no one gets you or wants to be with you…

is anyone’s heart racing?  are your palms starting to sweat?  as i write these things, i gotta be honest, i’m feeling a bit of anxiety.

but not like i used to.

for years, i’ve stayed in relationships for the wrong reasons….mainly, so as not to be alone.  i mean, i must be a failure if i can’t maintain a relationship!  what’s wrong with me if i can’t make it work?  aw heck, i’ll just stick around and make it work.  besides, no one’s perfect.  what else is out there for me?  what if i don’t find someone or something better?

hmmmm…settling is fine.

NO!

it’s not fine.  it’s tragic.  and sad.  and it’s the easy way out.  (or in?)

but up until recently, i was simply afraid to be alone…so those thoughts and ideas were comforting in their own little [DENIAL-like] way.

as most of you know, i was in a relationship with WrW.

everything was great for a while, but then it just started to go downhill.  it didn’t feel right.  i don’t think he was happy either.  and after a few weeks of constant bickering and a lack of understanding between us, there was only one thing left to do…end it.

it hurt like hell.  i’ve never been the type to leave a relationship.  i always end up with the broken heart, never fully understanding what went wrong.  not to say that i broke WrW’s heart, but for me, for the first time in my life…i felt that this relationship wasn’t right for me.  or for him.

the realization that i was about to be without a significant other, without the “couple” status, without the words “i love you” every day…was a really hard pill to swallow.

but guess what?  it wasn’t that hard to swallow when i finally came to the conclusion that “this is the best decision for ME.”

the power to be honest [with myself] and let go of something that didn’t feel right, even though i’d be “alone”…was liberating!  i stood right up to “alone” and said…”F YOU!  i’m gonna be just fine.  better even.”

from there, i stood back and took inventory of all the relationships i currently had in my life and decided…time to clean up.  time to rid myself of anything that’s not positive for me.  time to get rid of any poison that was keeping me from being happy and living my life to the fullest.

i ended a loooong friendship, that quite frankly, should have ended years ago.  i should’ve listened to what outsiders said about this person, but you know what…part of living life and learning lessons, is to learn and see for yourself.  it’s more rewarding when that “ah ha!” moment hits.

along with ending that friendship, i decided something else…i’d rather have a couple really close friends, then a bunch acquaintances.  i don’t need to have plans every weekend or 6 friends to call when things are getting stressful in the day-to-day.  i have me, i have my son, i have family, and i have a few good QUALITY friends.

life is good!

the slate has been wiped clean.  i’m more secure in myself, i know what i want, what i don’t want, who i want to be, who i am…it feels so good.  really.  my heart is so full these days.

but wait, there’s more!  because i let go of situations/relationships that weren’t good for me, other doors started opening!  doors that held amazing things behind them!  exciting things!  i won’t share too much right now, but i’m really really happy with thoughts of my future.  eep!  but alas, i must remain patient and let life happen as it’s supposed to.  i do believe that i’m more apt to make better decisions at this point in my life.  who wants to mess up a clean slate??

now, back to being alone…

i’ve put together a list of activities that i want to do…all.by.myself!  *gasp*
these are things that aren’t typically done alone, but i don’t know…i guess i’m trying to prove something to myself.  sometimes, i think, we appreciate things more when we do them alone.
so, here’s the list!
*go to a movie
*have lunch in a cafe
*spend the day at venice beach, rent a beach cruiser, and ride up and down the boardwalk
*volunteer
*plant something (my green thumb is nonexistent)
*no tv for a week
*go on a weekend road trip.  just me myself and i.
*go to a museum or art exhibit
*write one letter a month…to anyone…family, friend, another blogger maybe?

if you have anything to add…let me know!

it feels so good to talk about this out loud.  i’ve been meaning to for weeks, but i wasn’t sure how to put it into words.  i realize it was a bit lengthy, so if you read it all…thank you!  i always hope to inspire.

i’m wearing…
tank – abercrombie & fitch
cardigan – urban outfitters
skirt – lucky brand
hat – thrifted
vintage wedges – etsy
sunnies – gift

in closing (whoa!  so profesh sounding.), don’t be so afraid of the unknown.  sure, life can be scary if you stray from what you’re used to, but take it from me…it can be exhilarating and liberating and maybe…just maybe…something even better will come out of it.  always be honest with yourself.  because if you can’t be honest with yourself…who are you honest with?

xo

paige

ps.  obviously these are my opinions based on my life experiences.  as i said before, you have to learn on your own.  ;)

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25 thoughts on “here i go, again on my own

  1. yeah! you go! very empowering. i love the idea of a lone weekend roadtrip, very head clearing and ballsy.

    also, this would be the perfect beach cruising ensemble. either this or cut off shorts. anywho, very cute.

    laura

  2. PmP,

    Thank you for the beautiful posting. It delights me profoundly to see how happy you are. You have been such a beautiful foundation to the last year of my life and I am happy that the two of us had the strength to recognize we weren’t the most natural fit.

    You will always be remembered by the warmth of your zeal and the depth of your integrity.

    As far as spending time alone – to add to your list – I think the following are among my favorites:

    – exploring a new City and walking the streets alone (trying your best to get lost and then the joy of rediscovering how to get back to your hotel).
    – a train ride along the coast (staring out the window, watching the trees rush by).
    – a long, meandering hike in the mountains (hoping it will rain).
    – watching the embers burn in a campfire (alone).
    – floating in a pool (searching the vastness of the sky for imperfections in its color blue).

    You’re an inspiration, Paige.

    Your Ex-BF,
    WrW

  3. this was AWESOME!!!!!!!! you are such a strong and amazing lady, and beautiful on top of all that. in some ways, it’s hard for me to relate to your situation. growing up, my parents took care of everything for me, i went to college and within two weeks of graduating, i got married. i’ve never had to do anything alone. which in a way is great but in another way, i’ve never been challenged to learn who i am apart from everyone else. i’m not an independent person because i’ve never had to be. i think that’s one reason i had such a hard time after my son was born: for the first time in my life, someone depended on me. i wish i was as strong as you and as bold and fearless. you are a total rock star, paige! i hope you do every single thing on your list. and you are more than welcome to take that road trip to arkansas!!!

  4. oh my god, this got me so emotional!!!!
    (especially the comment by wrw… omg)
    I’m kinda going through something similar where we need to figure out if it’s salvageable. (spelling?)
    It’s not easy. Especially after almost 4 years. Holy crow.
    it seems like everyone is having relationship problems/breakups these days. Frig, is there something in the air?

    Paige, this post gives me hope that if things do go down that road with me and the bf, I can still be happy… eventually. thank you.
    xoxox

  5. thank you for this. honestly it was right on time for me. i’ve always been afraid of the unknown, but i think everyone is a little bit.

    ♥erica
    daniredvintage.blogspot.com

  6. I walked away from a couple frenemies last year and it’s been wonderful not being subject to their constant negativity! You have the right idea. A few solid friendships are worth their weight in gold! LOVE the fabulous floppy hat!

  7. thank you for being so open and honest, paige!

    as a fellow only child, i can relate to most of your sentiments about feeling alone – yet needing to be alone – feeling left out, etc and then also needing to be social and have everyone like me. it can be crippling.

    to be honest, i guess im totally nosey (hehe) and had wondered what happened…glad that you made the right decision and have found some resolve! props to you for having the gumption to do what you knew was right, no matter how hard. (i for one, have only ended one relationship but i wasn’t invested in it at all *cough*rebound*cough*…the ones i should, i never can)

    you are lovely and i know great things will come for you! glad new doors are opening :)

  8. I feel like we share some same qualities – ie, a split personality that needs some alone time but also needs to be around people. I once even took a personality test that said that very thing – I’m a 50/50 “people/thing” split!

    I am doing my daring “alone” adventure and leaving for the beach – for a week – by myself. I’ve only traveled a couple of places by myself, and only for a few days. This is definitely a big step for me, but I’m honestly so excited for it! I hope you find many, many adventures in your list of “things to do by myself”!

  9. I *heart* you paige. I’m really sorry to hear about the end of a relationship, but I understand. And I’m really really glad that you’re doing well. Also, man of man I can seriously relate to cutting out the unhealthy friendships. I had to the do the same thing recently, for years I would cry every time I would “hang out” with this friend, and it made my hubby so mad. I finally got the cuts to cut it off, and I feel so so good. I agree that it’s much more important to have a small group of good close friends, than a bunch of acquaintances.
    ps. I can’t believe you left out GO SHOPPING in your list of things to do alone. Well thats what I do whenever I can be alone!

  10. I might need to take lessons from you.

    This was a great post. You are always inspiring and always one of my favorites to read. Thanks for sharing this. There are lots of things that I needed to hear.

  11. wrw’s comment is making me very emotional. i’m also in the middle of aunt flo’s visit, so excuse the sappiness….

    it is really amazing when you can declare change for yourself, even if it is painful. you are brave + strong. i am in awe of you, for making this decision that is hard for most to do.

    ~p

  12. You articulate feelings that many people swallow for year. Way to go, Paige! Sometimes the best decisions are the hardest and you should feel proud that you’re liberating yourself from people and things that stifle you and make you unhappy.

    Another fun alone thing to add to your list? A yoga class! I know lots of girls that always want to go with a friend but I think it’s so much better when you can dedicate that time to you and just you.

    Rock on lady! xo

  13. I get ya.
    I’ve been there too. The desire to be accepted and wanted, the fear of being alone and rejected. I think when I became a mom those feelings diminished somewhat but also intensified at times. Does that make sense?
    Thanks for sharing this post, it has made me think about a lot of things.
    I think your plans for doing some things on your own are a good idea. I’ve forced myself to do things alone from time to time. Usually the hardest part is getting started.
    Good luck! :)

  14. So many of the things and lessons you are learning are echoing in my heart too. I, too, am an only child and struggle greatly with being alone. However, I also need alone time. I realized 3 years ago that I am not an extrovert… I am a full fledged introvert. Being in a large group of people scares the shit out of me.

    There is something really beautiful about coming to the understanding that being alone is okay. I love being alone sometimes because it allows me to think and to soak it all in. A few weeks ago I had to go to Memphis for a funeral and I went by myself. It had been years since I took a solo road trip and ya know what… I had a blast. I listened to my “Runaways” Pandora station the entire trip, singing loudly to Joan Jett, The Clash, and Cherie Curry.

    Something wonderful did happen in these past three years. I did meet a wonderful man whom I love so deeply and dearly. He, also, enjoy his alone time. We both do. We can both just sit in silence and think sometimes.

    Do things because YOU want to do them. You want to eat ice cream for breakfast on a Saturday morning and watch Dinosaur King on the CW mostly because the little dinos are the cutest things in the world? Do it. :)

  15. I know we don’t actually know each other, but I feel so proud of you! This is a huge issue for me. I am married, so mine comes in a different form, but I can totally relate. I’m happy you are exploring life on your own and you’ve certainly inspired me to do the same. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Dear Paige, I really believe that “something even better will come out of it”… And I’m so happy for yourself! I know that “liberating” feeling which adds so much to oneself if he/she uses it and as I saw, you’ll.. I’m really happy and proud of you and I’ll follow your way… By the way going to movies alone (not a scary one!) is a nice experiment! Love you! You look even more amazing!

  17. Good for you Paige. I recently underwent some similar heavy lifting and this poem by Tanya Davis called “How to Be Alone” helped immensely. It’s only a few minutes; I hope you get something out of it. Here’s the link:

    <3,
    Simone

  18. Oh my goodness! I love your thoughts on being alone!

    For the very first time, I decided to take myself on a “me date”. I was sick of not going out and doing all these fun things just because I didn’t have anyone to bring along with me.

    So I got all dressed up (heels and dress) and treated myself to dinner at a fancy restaurant (SO GOOD. raspberry chicken salad, shrimp bowl, and a mango lemonade) and then went to a movie (Eat Pray Love).

    Probably the best night I have had in a while. I felt completely comfortable just doing whatever I wanted and thinking about some things that have been on my mind.

    I HIGHLY recommend it.

    my post about it… http://meishamarie.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-be-alone.html

    hope this encourages you to go and do those things you want to do!

  19. I’m really glad you posted this. I enjoyed reading it as well as the comments from your readers.

    I think too many ladies out there think that being alone is some scary abyss to be feared. And because of this fear stay in relationships that are detrimental to their health and growth as a person. This is crazy to me. I mean, really? is spending an afternoon doing anything and everything that YOU want to do sound all that bad?

    I’ve actually done most of the things on your list and have to say that it’s quite relaxing to spend some time alone. It’s given me plenty of time to think of what the next steps in my life will be and just contemplate on the things I DO or DON’T like. Its hard to figure these things out when you have someone beside you always giving you their opinion, not that it’s a bad thing it’s just nice to figure these things out on your own.

    Well, I guess I just made myself sound like a big ol’ loner but hey, i’m fine with that!

  20. Thanks. It might be weird to be thanking you right now, but I don’t really know what else to say. But I guess thanks for sharing, thanks for being brave and paving the way, and thanks for being honest.

    I think this quote is infinitely applicable to your current situation. I saw it a couple days ago and it’s really stuck with me:

    “cherish your solitude. take trains by yourself to places you have never been. sleep out alone under the stars. learn how to drive a stick shift. go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. say no when you don’t want to do something. say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. decide whether you want to be liked or admired. decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here.” – Eve Ensler

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