To Be Alone But Not Lonely

25 years. 16 of which living under the my parents care. 9 years of slowly weaning myself out of the comfort zone and eventually making it on my own, living independently. I have learned to take care of myself and not experienced long enough to know what it means to be adorned and be told that I complete them or vise versa. Yes, romantically speaking, I have been one of probably a few number who’s single since time immemorial (cue canned laughter or gasps of shock).  The closest attempt I had to a relationship was when I was in college but I screwed it up to the second I confronted him—- what’s up with this random gifts and telling people we’re together when we’re not. I guess, it’s not meant to be. That or I’m a totally heartless, insensitive person.

How did I survive not having to hold somebody’s hand while watching a romantic comedy film, or having to share an early breakfast the morning after or kissing under the rain? Surprising, I managed. I must be a plankton, To rationalize, at the least.

I’ve managed to and am completely fine with doing things on my own like eating alone in public or watching movies by myself (I watched a Sweeney Todd and survived). I felt comfortable and safe with this. As an only-child, I was born this way (cue: Lady Gaga). I was ALONE. But I wasn’t LONELY.

Year 26 – is a banner year.  I’ve reached a breakthrough.This is why when I started to like somebody new, I felt I’ve reached an alien territory within myself. I felt conscious of how I look and what I’m going to say? It’s like I’m about to audition in some sort of talent show. I had a lot of questions in my head, I’m not prepared to answer. Why him? What makes him different from the others? Why him??? Again, why him? Are you listening to yourself? Why is he you’re type? In brief and calculated breaths I made mental notes. He’s just my type. His glasses make him  appears smarter than he already is. He grins like there’s no tomorrow. He laughs like me ( yeah, a girl). He’s funny and we have same inkling for music and movies (I think). I’m really that easy, I think to myself.

It felt like there was a sleeping dragon who was awaken. Inside, there’s a fire that has been ignited (I kid you not, it not what you think it is). It gets cornier by the minute, but bear with this.

For the first time, I felt my heart beating as he entered the room. Freeze framed. Zooming into view, he’s stature was perfect and the background seems to blur within seconds. The chit-chats and random noise died down and it was as if time stopped. As he approach me, I looked away from his gaze and I can hear myself breathing hard that I realized. I typed away pretending to be busy like I’m trying to meet some deadline. My typing can be likened to the intensity of a raging bull about to attack a matadore. My breathing became more heavy and I felt by heart is about to leap out of my ribcage.  Is this love or just some random panic attack? What took you so long, have you been living under a rock? Well, obviously.

One day I just find myself smiling when I wake up. Pumped up even more when I work. And suddenly, people are telling me I am blooming. Oblivious, I thanked them for their compliments.

In my (more) alone time (usually in front of a desk, during over time), I drifted away and begin to imagine what if we’re together, what will be the namesake we’ll call each other? What will he feel if I suddenly and playfully wrap my arms around him in public and tell him how much I love the way he smells, like a freshly folded shirt washed with a scented fabric softener. For me, that’s how a real man should smell like and not some musky cologne. I am regressing into a girl who if you happen to see me at that time can be likened to an anime character with heart-shaped eyes and a sweat symbol just near her head.

I’m diving head first to a vast ocean of unknown unfiltered emotions. As we work more closely together, I begin to build better trust in him and confide personal stories. He too did the same. When I’m with him, I felt safe the kind of safety I felt when I’m alone. At times, we find ourselves finishing each others sentences and slowly I felt more at ease being with somebody like him. Working with him had some ups and downs, and it confused myself. My own emotions clouded my better judgement and assessment of situations, specially at work.

Opportunities came and went on trying to sort out this “thing” that I have but I felt like it was not the right time to do it. I hesitated. The last time I did it, it was disastrous and it ended up that I had to lose a friend.

I didn’t tell him how I felt. Short story of it all, things didn’t materialize as I have imagined it to be. My mistake was I robbed him the opportunity to hear myself out. I got cold feet. I jumped the boat. I ran away. I didn’t want to hear those words: I DON”T LIKE YOU or WE”RE JUST FRIENDS.

In my attempt to protect myself, I withheld the truth about how I felt. I cannot imagine being hurt by an idea much less the real thing. So I lied to myself, even though it was obvious. There was an elephant in the room. I just walked pass by it.

For the first time, I felt how it is to be alone and lonely.


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