One of my good friends broke up with her lover this week. She’s a good person, loving, caring. I thought she found the right one. Loving, caring too. It turns out she wasn’t. It’s hard to see my friend heartbroken again. She hates being alone, she is very independent, but she loves to have someone to cuddle up with in the night and feel safe. Someone special. I can relate to that. Too much. It’s always confronting when friends break up and their vulnerability holds a mirror in front of your face. I’m not good at being alone. I tried to be good in being alone. I had a long- distanced relationship for over a year and in that way, I was forced to be alone most of the time. I really wanted to like it and sometimes I did. But most of the time it made me feel restless, in retrospect, I think I even felt a bit useless. Like living for myself was not enough. Of course I know myself well enough that I realize I love to take care of someone, I love to be the caring, loving, charming butch when I have a lover. I don’t do things because I feel they have to be done (like cooking, buying her favorite icecream, untying her shoes, planning little outings), but because I love doing them and most things I do for her I don’t even think about, because it’s such natural behavior for me (or learned?..) I like to spend lots of time together, I find it comforting to know she’s around or coming home.
I’m now 40 and I still don’t know if those things are a quality or a weakness. I know it can’t be a good thing that I feel my life is not so useful when I have to take care of only myself, when I have to think about only myself. I’m even envious of people who cherish being alone, who love their total freedom above everything else. I know I have another side that also desires that freedom. That’s the side of me that chooses to be alone, has different lovers, travels to her friends in other countries all the time, doesn’t settle down. But in a way I know that kind of life does not make me happy either. I just don’t like being alone that long; I’m not the multiple lover person, I get attached to someone and then there’s no emotional room for another one; I love travelling to see my friends and different places, but in a way I feel the same everywhere, so travelling is not such a big thing; I know I’m afraid of settling down, but I think it’s not because I’m afraid of settling with a person, I find that less scary then settling down in one place and getting stuck in one city, or country, or planet even. In a way I would always just like to be able to pack my few belongings and go.
There has to be a balance somewhere. Forcing myself to live alone to learn to be alone is one way, but I don’t want to do that anymore, I’m not brave enough to find out if I could manage it without getting depressed. I definitely like sharing my life with someone and I’m quite good at that too, it doesn’t stress me to be in the environment of another one and I’m well capable of finding my own space there. I just have to remind myself that I have to take care of myself too. To remember what I want and what I need. (Is that also a butch thing?) Maybe it’s a good thing that I know I can always grab my few belongings and go, because that is also what makes me feel free and that’s one of the things I want. It may well be that I will never master the art of being alone. There will inevitably come a day that I will be, but for now, I settle in trying to find my own balance.