|The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France|
I was young, had no major commitments, had a good job and could afford to plan this trip of a lifetime on my own. It was my single girl adventure. I bought a French CD to brush up on what was then my horrible French - the result of neglect and lack of practice after high school. I would plop it into my CD player in my car and while baking in rush hour traffic, I would perfect my accent and have conversations with Claude on the CD. I booked my hotel, my ticket on the Eurostar, bought my guidebooks, my maps. I was so ready! I was excited.
I told friends and family about my trip. The responses were not dripping with excitement. Instead I got a lot of this:
"What? You going Paris by yourself??"
Ummm...yes. What was wrong with that? Apparently, plenty!
On my mum's side, she was more concerned about my safety. This would have been my first trip to anywhere without a buddy, or a family member or friend as host. She had already conjured up these images of me being robbed, kidnapped, and worse.
|Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France|
This is the lady who supported me throughout my academic life, bought all my textbooks and should have known better. lol.
But the others were not as concerned by my safety as they were by the idea that it was simply unheard of to go anywhere alone, and worse yet, a city like Paris. Travel? Alone? What kinda thing is that? None of your friends can go with you? This is why you need a mister.
And I do admit, Paris is a romantic city and it's the kind of place you want to experience with a loved one, but if I had to wait for Mr Right to make that trip, I still would not have made it to Paris. I would still be sitting here, dreaming of all that could be, could have been and never may be.
|Le Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Paris|
So when I ran across the book, Solemate: Mastering the Art of Aloneness, I thought, that is a great title and I am sure it is also a great read.
Mastering the art of aloneness is about having a good relationship with yourself. It’s about becoming the person you were meant to be, treating yourself well, and shedding the old beliefs and behaviors that limit your ability to live a healthy, happy, satisfying life – with or without a partner...(read more)
I think I have been very successful to date at mastering my aloneness, i.e. having a life without the burdens of what if, I wish, why me and so on. I think my family and friends have also come to terms with this and some are actually quite envious that I can just pick up myself and just go, without feeling self conscious or pathetic or without feeling the weight of any social conventions on my shoulders. My uncle always tells me each time I announce some new adventure, that I am so brave. I'm not really, but I am not willing to sit around feeling sorry for myself either.
Sure, I would love even more to have someone to share all these experiences with, but in mastering my aloneness, I also feel pretty secure in doing things by myself. If I want to do something, I don't wait...I just do it. I go to the movies alone when I really want to see a movie and noone else wants to, though some people look at me in horror when I say that -like, how could you do that?
If I am hungry, I have no qualms about asking for a table for one. I mean, convention would probably prefer that I catspraddle, dry-mouthed, in the middle of the road from starvation rather than enjoy a great meal by myself.
I have been witness to many nightmarish relationships, born out of fear of being alone...fear of not having someone else to "complete" one's being. That is one of the lines they peddle to single people to make them buy into bad relationships, stress and unhappiness, instead of enjoying life while waiting or looking for a good relationship, bliss and contentment - this "complete me" dotishness. It is very possible to be complete without the mister.
|My glass is pretty full...and extremely good.|
I don't feel I need to buy a book at this point of my life. It may be a good read, but I have lived as well. I really try to look at it now, not as a glass that is half full rather than half empty, but it's a pretty damn full glass. A daiquiri glass at that...with yummy strawberry daiquiri and 2 plump strawberries, waiting to be loved and devoured. Mmmmm.