Alone, lonely?

Just started watching a movie, a young single person in New York, getting a bowl of soup at a restaurant, and then feeling a bit uncomfortable, and asking them to package it up to go. Being single, and not necessarily young, this had me reflect. Does she feel more alone, eating in a restaurant by herself than she will when she goes home to her empty apartment?

I’ve been living on my own for over 10 years ( for a brief time there was someone else but that is another very long story). In general I am very comfortable living on my own. I am very comfortable with myself for company, yes, on occasion I may answer a question I have, lol, but not often. The truth is we all have a pretty continual inner dialogue, often very hard to turn off, and I just hope that most people are kinder on themselves than they probably are. We do often seem to be more critical of ourselves than others.

Back to the soup. I also love to cook, I actually have in the past read recipe books, and I still enjoy searching the web for recipes. Finding ones that use combinations of ingredients differently than I would expect but that sound intriguing enough that I want to try this new adventure in taste and smell. Sometimes it may all be about the visual senses as well, a pretty swirly bread with Chocolate and hazelnuts, how can you go wrong with that? I love travelling, always an adventure and learning opportunity. Taken out of your normal, meeting strangers, exploring a new city, town, village, nature, tasting different foods, spices invigorating. When my children were young and if we were in the city I liked to take them to Superstore, and more specifically the ethnic aisle. We could travel down the aisle, check out foods we had never come across before and take some home and try them. Some we maybe only bought once, but always they were an adventure and a way of expanding our universe.

Why do I like to cook? A good part I imagine is that it is comforting, making something for yourself, and others that isn’t just about fuelling your body but about actually enjoying the experience. Not just eating because you have to but because it is such a sensual experience, the flavours, the texture, the scent, how you might actually physically have to approach it. It is great if you can share the experience with someone, which is why I love cooking up a storm for special occasions. A celebration just isn’t a celebration if there isn’t great food to go with it. Do I need great food to enjoy a concert or a play, no, but it certainly rounds out the evening.

Someone once told me they admired that I would go to an event on my own, take myself out for supper or to a movie, didn’t that feel strange? From my point of view, why would I not go or do something just because I didn’t have someone to go with? We are responsible for our own happiness, and if all that means is getting up off the couch and doing what brings you joy, that sounds pretty easy, vs sitting at home and wishing you had gone. There is so much living to do. I had a relationship once where I would ask him if he would like to go someplace and the answer was “Maybe” he would never commit and it always got too close to the time to make a decision that in the end we wouldn’t go. I smartened up and instead started letting him know that I was going incase he was interested in coming along, if he wasn’t fine, I wasn’t going to miss out on something I was going to enjoy. I did marry that fellow for quite a while, I also remember one evening asking if he’d like a some ice-cream or something like that as we were watching a movie, he replied, “No”. I went about getting myself some ice-cream and when I came back he looked at me and said, he thought he had told me he didn’t want any? “Yes, you did” I replied “but this is for me” . To which he was surprised that I would get some for myself when he didn’t want any? I stayed married to him for much too long, but I did get three wonderful children out of it. Actually for many years at the end of that relationship I felt more alone when he was there than when he was gone. So really living on my own is wonderful.

Yes, it might be nice for someone to ask how your day was, or to make sure you got home safely, or if you are feeling ill that they might make you chicken soup. Someday I may find someone to share my life with who appreciates me for me, who is comfortable with who he is and is an equal partner.

But right now, I can decide that I want to make a certain type of soup, or that I want to experiment with it, and I don’t have to be concerned at all whether someone else might like it. I don’t have to compromise, or not be true to myself, I can go where I please and do as I wish. It’s a darn fine life and I’m a very lucky person to be living it as fully as I can.

Normal? What is your’s?

All of us, or pretty much all of us look at our own individual lives as ‘normal’, even people that are differently able probably see their life’s as ‘normal’ for their circumstance. It is from this vantage point that we view where/how others live. Where we try to understand/judge how others live if different than our own ‘normal’, as we assume ‘most people’ live just like us.

We accept hardships and/or luxuries as ‘normal’ if we have always experienced them. As when Mary-Antoinette, a queen in France, when she reportedly told that her people could no longer even afford bread, she replied, “Then, let them eat cake.” Was she really this callus? I imagine she just really had no idea, what life was like outside her ‘world’, her royal life was her ‘normal’.

I just watched the movie, “Breathe”, about a polio survivor  who was now a paraplegic. His ‘normal’ changed overnight, a huge adjustment, but then his new ‘normal’ that of a paraplegic, he and his family in time wondered did they really have to accept this new normal? From that normal, they started imaging a different one.

It is imagining the different life, the one not normal from where we currently are when we make change. Sometimes this means being exposed to someone else’s normal, to see a different way. Sometimes it takes a huge unforeseen change in our normal, a loss of a job, a death, illness, natural disaster, war to create a change. Not all change is for the better, or at least some at the time can’t be seen as good changes at the moment. Sometimes things need to get really bad before people are willing to put an effort into change, to rising up. As humans I think it is always our goal to rise up.

17 Global Goals

Is the world really better than ever?

Why the world is better than you think

Yes, some of us accept where we are, and see no reason for change, “It was like that when I grew up, and I didn’t turn out that bad”. Or we look around at our situation, see our family circumstance and how our families past has been, and with comments from our elders reinforcing the thought, this is just how it is for us folks, many believe, accept their ‘normal’. They may complain about it, like the story of a hound dog laying on a nail and groaning because it hurts, but not willing to move from that spot on the floor, because he would have to make a change and he is not willing to do so, instead he will just complain.

I believe that big changes can be made with little steps.This can be picking up litter, recycling, smiling, helping another even in a small way, …being the best person we can be. Being creative, looking at things from new ways, seeing new connections from unusual things. Most importantly imagining a new way, a new normal, and working towards that, believing in it until it is. 2 steps forward one step back….fine….sideways,…. fine, but always forward, always improving the ‘normal’ for an even brighter future.

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. Carol Burnett

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama
No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. Robin Williams