I am not talking about the song from Frozen, I’m talking about what I said to Flower the other day on the phone when I said that while the world was falling down all around me, I held on with a death grip to every pillar, person and place I knew. And what I should have been doing is letting it go.
This is such a hard concept for all of us who were taught to build rather than destroy.
And now I’m thinking of another myth I have told myself, the one where I need to be in a partnership or married or in a relationship. I worried that I would be like my mother or the countless other women who after 50 never married again.
But having a temporary roommate has helped me see the light – I was wrong – they were right. Living alone, being single, has more benefits than living with a partner.
Here are my reasons:
1) I have an active career that requires me to juggle many different schedules. Not having a partner means that if I have to devote a day to any one of these projects, it’s totally fine.
2) I love to go to sleep early and wake up early. I don’t have to dicker around with a partner who is a night owl whose comings and goings after I’ve turned off the light keep me from going into my deep REM sleep.
3) I’m clean and tidy and I like it that way. Most people are not clean or tidy or they are clean and tidy in different ways and it’s aggravating.
4) I have an active social life that never needs to be compromised by someone else’s agenda.
5) I spend the holidays with MY FAMILY or MY FRIENDS and don’t have to endure another’s holiday drama or bad food or tired traditions.
6) I have space and time to myself without having to worry about it being invaded.
7) I can travel to places I want to go and not have to compromise my dream journeys.
I really could go on, but are you starting to get my drift? This is new to me – I’ve been married three times, lived with lovers, and only now do I understand that living alone is the greatest gift in the world – to MYSELF.
Well, it turns out I’m a cliché once again, because Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist, spent seven years conducting interviews that reveal a startling change that he documents in his book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.
“People who live alone,” writes Klinenberg in Going Solo, are now “more common than the nuclear family, the multigenerational family, and the roommate or group home.” As a society, however, we seem to be in denial of this new reality: While some ignore it, others deplore it, branding it a symptom of social fragmentation or individual narcissism.