Today I went to pick up keys from a friend who I am house sitting for during the month of November. Woot. A whole month! I told her that I had just given two weeks notice at my job on Friday and that I am hoping to leave the country in the near future and head to far off lands where I will “get to wear awesome clothes, eat awesome food, meet awesome people… not be allowed to look at men,” we laughed as I added, “that’ll probably be good for me right now.”
In the past week I’ve discovered Numero Nueve (#9 for you gringos): I, though terrified of marriage, am scared of the prospect of ending up alone.
This was perhaps most eloquently put on Friday when a couple friends and I had a shouting match (literally: we were all yelling at each other, and I hardly remember what was said because there was so much commotion). The situation: Sara texted a boy who she is still hung up on. Still trying to get over. A boy who, come the end of the relationship, did not treat her very well. But due to the lack of closure (there was never a “real” break up conversation) Sara struggles to move forward and admit the truth: he’s not that into you, honey.
So Abby and Danielle are yelling at me while Jessi just watches in a rather dumbfounded shock and finally Danielle, in a moment of clarity shouts: “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!” While I think that had been said a few times already, it was the first time I actually heard it. And one of the most amazing things came out of my mouth. My hands balled into fists, my elbows were bent as I waved my hands in tight circles, and my face must have scrunched up awfully, or maybe it relaxed a little as I finally let out what I’ve been feeling for at least a year–at least as long as I saw marriage go down the toilet in a rush of torrid water and the bowl never refilled with hope for a future.
“I’M TIRED OF GOING TO BED ALONE EVERY NIGHT!” I shouted with a fervor I hardly recognized as my own.
Of course Danielle reminded me that, being religious, I have to wait until marriage to do that. And she also reminded me that’s a long ways off–with anyone–be it Nick or the good looking new guy at church last week. And Abby shouted something about having to wait, about Nick being the epitome of the wrong person and Danielle made some other wise comment (in a loud, overbearing voice) and I shouted that I’m tired of everyone around me “F***ing getting married!”
Which stopped the conversation: more because I swore than because of what I was expressing.
Tonight, driving on the high way, on threadbare tires but a deliciously new oil change, with the windows barely cracked and the heater softly blowing on my sandaled toes (despite the scarf and sweater I am wearing), I finally plugged my iPod back in to the stereo. 93.3 has a nasty habit of making me angry. 95.7 has a tendency to make me lonely and want the wrong things in a relationship. So I went back to the iPod. Frightened Rabbit must be the last thing I listened to, because it popped on in the middle of a song called The Loneliness. It is a song that that I love, the beat, the instruments, the lyrics, the sound of his voice shouting, singing, crying. And I knew what he was saying. I knew it in the depths of my soul.
It is the winter of mixed drinks. It’s fall again and I am seeing autumn in much the same way as last year. I’ve been left, I am leaving, I am moving, I am going transient again. I am not settling. There is great joy in this, but there is great fear. There is great terror and yet great peace in the leap of faith. But there is a good deal of loneliness. My mum told me yesterday (bless her heart) she doesn’t understand what I’m doing exactly, though she is being supportive. But I heard Scott on the way home tonight. I knew what he felt. I’m lonely. I’m scared of being alone. I’m afraid of being that 1 in 10 among Americans who never makes it to marriage. I told Daniel that in dating Nick I was looking for love in the wrong place. I told Cody I gave Nick my number even though he wasn’t a Christian because “God knows, nobody else was asking for it.”
I don’t want to be that woman who loves everyone else’s children, is an “auntie” to everyone because she can’t have her own because she can’t find someone to settle down with. Yeah Scott, I have fallen in the forest, can you hear me? Is there a loud enough scream to prove that I exist? Would anyone notice?
But on the highway, with the string of lights in the middle, on my tires showing their cords, slowing down with gears not brakes, watching cars slip past and brake lights glow, I felt this sort of peace. It’s hard, you know, being alone. We aren’t meant to be like this. Abba said it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and he didn’t just mean the male gender. He lives in community–the Trinity–a divine dance of three persons going in and out of one another. We’re supposed to be the same way. It’s okay to admit my loneliness. It doesn’t make me weak. It doesn’t make me less. It just acknowledges that I struggle with this realization that I am sort of on my own. But in great weakness, Jesus has great strength. And he whispered to me, over those gleaming lines between the lanes, around the bend to 225, beneath the overpass and beside the reservoir, We’re going to do this. I did it, while I was there. And we are going to do this.
So I’m quiting my job. Moving to lots of time alone at an empty apartment. And I’m going to trust Him. I’m scared of being alone. But he’s got this. Thank God, someone has it under control. Because we all know that I haven’t got a clue what the hell is going on.
btw [by the way] I hope you are not offended by my use of profanity. I did swear at work on Friday. I think it shocked the girls. I know it will shock my mother to read it, and I’m praying against a heart attack on my grandmother’s behalf. But I’m not going to lie. I’m not good at this whole righteousness thing. And there’s no point hiding that. Hiding, it would seem, would make me a greater sinner by way of hypocrisy.