The Quiet Romance of Being Alone

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ryan's been gone for almost two weeks on a family trip. I've been surprised by how hard it's been--things feel off, unbalanced, my routine shaken without him here. We've built a life with rhythms, and I'm ready to return to it. Yet it's felt like all of last year when we were long distance and every night from 9:30 on was set aside for him and everything before that was a pocket of free time.

I have so much time on my hands now. Nothing but time and it's been a curious challenge to fill it.

I've spent many hours with Finn contently napping on me, re-watched countless delightful episodes of Frasier, baked herb-marinated chicken, taken my time eating dinner, pulled my gym shoes out of the deep recessives of my closet and worked out (several times!) for the first time in too-long-to-say, caught up on The Crown and Victoria and all the British shows Ryan steadfastly opposes. I miss him terribly, always, especially at night and in the morning. But here and there, I find myself drinking in the small moments of quiet.

A lamplit apartment. The gentle stretch and warmth of yoga on your bedroom floor. Leggings and a soft v-neck t-shirt slipping off one shoulder. The bottle of wine in the fridge. Cracking open a can of sparkling water to elevate a simple meal. This feeling of limberness and calm. The brillant amaranth hue of a grapefruit halve. A cat curled, eyes closed, in the crook of an armchair. Gregory Porter crooning softly in another room. A pan of broccoli with lemon and olive oil roasting for dinner. Simple pleasures, savored and sacred when by oneself.

There is supreme loneliness in being alone at times, whether single or not.

But there is also a quiet romance--a loveliness--too.