Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Story of Me

Today's Soundtrack: Karate - Unsolved
Today's Mood: Content, at Peace & Exhausted

I am finally, once again, completely happy and content all by myself. I have always been a loner. For people who only know me superficially that might be hard to believe. I'm surprisingly extroverted to be an introvert. The thing is, my extroversion is primarily a "put on" to make others feel comfortable. I have always been happiest all by myself, sitting in a corner reading a great book. Or visiting a museum. Or going to the movies. I have always enjoyed my own company. I probably developed this love of my own company as a defense mechanism against letting other people close. As long as I was content with my own company I didn't need anyone else. I was happy to be alone. I cherished my aloneness. And never let anyone close.

Then, about 3 years ago I became friends with these extremely intrusive and bossy people (they're actually anything but intrusive and maybe only a little bossy), who somehow pushed past my perfectly built barriers and somehow wound up very close to my heart. Over time I became accustomed to their presence, to the extent that my own company ceased to be enough anymore. While I was still happy to find myself alone on some occasions, I much preferred the company of one or the other of my friends. My aloneness was no longer enough.

Some time later, due to horrible and painful circumstances which I fully believe now to have been necessary for my growth as a person, I lost both of those friends. One to physical distance and one to emotional distance. It was terribly difficult, day to day, knowing that I was all the company I would have tomorrow (truthfully, I wasn't completely alone; who can ever be completely alone on this overpopulated planet?). But the people who truly got me, understood me, and accepted me, were no longer there. I was back on my own. I missed them terribly. And all of the joy I used to find in my own company was like bitter fruit in my mouth. My aloneness was now lonliness. My solitude was solemnity herself.

They say that it's always darkest before dawn. There were some very dark days. Very very dark days. This new circumstance in which I found myself, wanting people around whom I was not able to have there, forced me to deal with some things in my life which I had been avoiding for a good long time. And this time, rather than turn and run (a skill which I had perfected to an art form), I chose to face the lonliness and forgive some old wounds and in the end forgive myself. The forgiveness was like a strong wind pushing storm clouds away. The light began to shine through for me again. I started to find joy in my own company again. Little by little the missing of my friends grew less painful, and I could laugh out loud again at memories of things we'd done or conversations we had had. Thoughts of them were no longer a bruise on my heart which I had to avoid touching lest I recoil in pain. And eventually, we became friends again.

There's more to the story, and perhaps one day I'll share. But for now, suffice it to say, that as much as I love my friends, I am perfectly happy and content once again.

In my own company.

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