On Being Single

It’s one of those nights where it’s only 8 PM, and I’m having difficulty keeping my eyes open.

The smoke in Ashland is getting worse, due to a serious fire in Redding, CA, where 6 people lost their lives. The smoke is so thick here, that people are mostly indoors, or wearing masks when they briefly go out of doors.

I’ve decided to make the heinous drive to the SF Bay Area, to visit friends and family. Having lived in Ashland for 4 years, I rarely drive more than 15 or 20 minutes at the most, at any one time. I’ve gotten used to living in a small town, where everything is close by.

I just have to point out, for those of you who aren’t aware, that at times it sucks being single!

I enjoy my independence and the freedom that I have. I enjoy being able to paint whenever I want to, without worrying about making my partners dinner, or doing his laundry.

But, I do miss the intimacy.

I attended 3 large social events in the past 3 days. A Bar Mitzvah at my temple, a wedding, at my temple, and a Bat Mitzvah, again at my temple.

I’m an introvert to begin with, so going to group gatherings makes me nervous.

The wedding I attended was especially hard.

I sat at a table of couples. I was the only single person present.

I don’t drink, because I take meds for depression and anxiety. So, I couldn’t do what pretty much everyone else was doing.

Drinking alcohol to make the discomfort a little less pressing.

I sat at my table, while most of the 100 or so people around me were wandering around, gabbing, and having a gay old time.

I fiddled with my phone. I texted several friends and told them where I was. I told myself over and over again, that it’s okay to be an introvert. It’s okay to not feel comfortable surrounded by gobs of people.

As the night wore on, and people were seated, I did have several good conversations with  people, which boosted my mood some.

I’m better than I once was, about going to important occasions without a date, but it still stings.

Relationships can be challenging, but they add a lot to life, too. If you’re lucky your spouse is also your best friend.

Perhaps I’m idealizing the state of being in relationship with a man that I care deeply about. Life just gets lonely, sometimes, and it would be nice to have someone special, to share it with.

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Photo from my deck, in Ashland, OR. Believe it or not, their are mountains behind the thick gray smoke.

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