Monday, October 24, 2016

24. Cultivating Solitude

This week I reread two posts I wrote in January. Read them here and here. I am so grateful that I wrote each post. I risked being honest with myself and in doing so, I created a barometer reading for my emotions. In January, I could not imagine achieving the level of peace and calm I now feel in October. It reinforces the power of the changing seasons of one's life, and that nothing lasts forever. 
I was still reeling from all the open space in my schedule that shared custody of my daughter carved into my weekly routine. Not seeing her every day was hard. It was a painful reminder that the decision to divorce, which was the very best one for us, also came with a price—a really high one.
I was uncomfortable with solitude in the early months of this year. 

During the panic earlier this year, I created yet another "rule" or guideline for myself. I told my friends that I would not even think of dating until I turned 43. Since I have a penchant for naming things, I named this thing Project 43. The idea was that to keep the panic of not dating (or actually dating) at bay, I would simply declare that it was not an option for two years thereby freeing my chattery mind from thinking of it. It made perfect sense to me at the time. I know some friends were skeptical, but bless them, they didn't push me on this.

Walking alone everyday helped fortify the idea that being alone can be a positive, nourishing state of being. and certainly not one to fear or run from.  

What I see more clearly now having literally walked through these months and emotions, is that Project 43 was about controlling the uncontrollable and easing the pain of the loneliness I felt. Walking has soothed those feelings. I feel less panicked about being alone and in fact, I have found joy in my own company. I'm fun! I think interesting things! I listen to great music and read interesting books! I learned how to not fear what an evening or an entire weekend looks like on my own. 
Ten months later I RELISH my solitude. I have so many things to think and do and be when I'm with myself. I feel far less needy. I have a finely-tuned gauge for when I need to reach out to people and when I can manage on my own. My friends hear from me far less now than they did ten months ago. I know it's from this place of strength, confidence, and peace that good things will emerge. 

Recently, friends reminded me of Project 43 and it felt like such a foreign concept and so needless. I am really content where I am and with myself. I am open to what comes my way.
If I've come this far in ten months, I can't help but wonder where I'll be in another ten.



  2. Bless you in your journey. I am so proud of you!

  3. Bless you in your journey. I am so proud of you!