“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” Bell Hooks
I like this quote. Reminds me of the term “other half” which I hate. As if you cannot be complete without someone by your side. I always believe that before you can be any use to anyone, you have to be whole on your own first, or otherwise, what can you give? The remaining half of yourself? No wonder so many is broken after a relationship has ended. There is nothing left of them to rebuild. What they usually do is look for somebody to complete them. How many times I heard the phrase: I’m not complete without this person. That’s why they call it “other half.” In flemish it is worse. They call their spouses “die van ons” which literally translate “ours.” Ours what? It sounds so negative. As if you are sharing your partner with the whole neighborhood. If I understand it correctly, being single these days is almost a curse. At least that’s what they say in SocMed. Contemporaries see it as a failure. As if, if you are single, you are a pariah, nobody wants you, you are not good enough and not desirable enough to be off the street. Can it not be that single people are singles because they are happy on their own? Happy to be free to make their own choices and decisions? If nothing else, I find it an accomplishment. It means that they are strong brave individuals who are capable of dealing with and facing the world unaided.
How I wish!
What Mary Hale said?
Single is no longer a lack of options – but a choice. A choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status but to live every day Happily and let your Ever After work itself out.
A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.
“One morning she woke up different. Done with trying to figure out who was with her, against her, or walking down the middle because they didn’t have the guts to pick a side. She was done with anything that didn’t bring her peace. She realized that opinions were a dime a dozen, validation was for parking, and loyalty wasn’t a word, but a lifestyle. It was this day that her life changed. And not because of a man or a job but because she realized that life is way too short to leave the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket. It was the day life began!” ~ Sarah Krycinski
I walked too long with guilt.
Knowing that for the most part, it wasn’t my fault. That in the end, I had to choose for myself or I might as well give up altogether. I know not so many people would understand. In fact, I know no one who does. It got something to do once again with expectations and what society dictates, not what is best for all party involves. It took me decades to forgive myself. Partially. And to resign to the fact that it is what it is and there is no damn thing I can do about it. I still feel guilty sometimes, but it doesn’t keep me awake anymore and the urge to compensate is gone. I still do my best but I don’t expect appreciation nor understanding for the choices I had made. I learned to distance myself and draw the line. I no longer hope for reconciliation or acceptance. I just want peace. Even if it means being on my own, far from what once I hold dear.
Acceptance is for most people one of the fundamental goals to achieve if one wants to be deemed successful. In order to belong anywhere, to be respected, to keep self-esteem and dignity and to answer one’s need for interpersonal relationships one needs to be accepted; by one’s own family, friends, colleagues, and society in general. Only a few enjoy being an outcast (I’m one of them) and most if not all find themselves in this situation, not by choice. Predominantly, one becomes solitary because she or he failed to adopt a herd mentality or conform to what is expected by the majority. If one wants to belong, one must get the approval of society, so simple is that.
“What do you mean I have to wait for someone’s approval? I’m someone. I approve. So I give myself permission to move forward with my full support!” –Richelle E. Goodrich
For the vast majority, they don’t know any better. We are conditioned to adapt to what the society deemed appropriate from the cradle and we learned early enough what the consequences are if we don’t. So, from such a young age, we strive to be what the society expects of us at the cost of our true selves. We suppress our own individualities and uniqueness in order to be part of a group. Lucky are the ones who can portray their true selves and still be accepted and admired, but I am thinking, those rebels, are they really showing their true colors or it’s just for the show? For the sake of the art or whatever it is that motivates them to be different. I think of Van Gogh and all those eccentrics whose lives ended in tragedy. Is that the price to pay if you dare to swim against the current?
Most will think: why bother, it doesn’t worth the trouble. Why rock the boat if you can’t swim. Better to sit still and enjoy the ride and hope to reach the shore safely. It’s better to be part of the herd than make the journey on your own because for most people solitude means boring among so many other things. I wonder if they even tried to follow their own path and be who they really are. Just once, for a change, to test the water, see if they like it. I guess not. Why fix something that isn’t broken, right?
What about those jerks that get away with everything and advance on society’s ladder by stepping on other people’s back, are they being true to their own nature and being rewarded as well? Talk of having the cake and eat it too. To me, it only looks that way. Notice that most of those jerks used to be respected pillars of the community before the public learned their true colors? Appearance is everything. You want to be accepted, learn first to deceive.
How about you?
What do you think?
Do you need other people’s approval?
Of course you do!
They get hurt. They get abused. They get used. They get taken advantage of.
Best not to let people get too close. Close enough to harm you. I learned that the best way to protect yourself and your core is to not to form an attachment with anything or anyone. People come and go, they change, their priorities change. Nothing last forever. The only constant in this life is_ changes. So better be prepared. Just keep yourself intact and you will survive whatever may come. You don’t need anyone for that.
“ I’m wounded, and I’m bruised.
But I’m not ashamed of admitting it.
It is a part of my healing process. And I’ll embrace it with a head held high.
One day I’ll stop touching the thorns,
and I’ll enjoy smelling the flowers.” –Rahma Djebbari
“I don’t have to dream about bright skies, sunshine, and rainbows… Maybe I’m into dark nights and shining stars. Maybe it isn’t about following what everyone else is doing, but trying to find my own way of doing things..” –Rahma Djebbari
I’m into dark, everybody (who reads my blog) knows that by now. But I still dream of bright skies, sunshine, and rainbows. I dream of bubbling brooks and green forest and waterfalls. I still like puppies, babies and old people. I don’t follow what everyone is doing but I’m interested in hearing other people’s stories, and if they ask it the right way, maybe I will tell mine.
Beauty standards are man-made.
Beauty is whatever you think it is.”
”She was broken but never hopeless; alone but never lonely. Her eyes reflected pain but projected courage. She was a beautiful paradox.”
If I’m going to paint my self-portrait, I want the end result to evoke these kinds of thoughts from the viewers. I want the image to radiate strength, complexity of character, vulnerability, compassion, and life experience. Beauty for me is more than looks alone but what can you see behind it, what the eyes tell you, how the overall picture affects you. Does it make you feel something? I believe that even inanimate objects have souls. Good art for me is if it has the power to make people lose themselves and imagine other worlds, different lives, a good art are the ones that tell stories.
“Don’t you feel lonely? I see that you always eat out alone, watch movies alone, drink in cafes and read books in libraries alone. I always see you isolating yourself in a room with your phone, alone. Doesn’t it make you sad? Lonely?”
“Loneliness doesn’t work that way for me. The reason why I’m always alone is that I don’t want to be lonely. To be with myself is appreciating my own presence, especially when others couldn’t. You see, for me, being surrounded by people but still feeling alone— that’s lonely. Having a group to go out with but not feeling like you belong— that’s lonely. I’d rather be with myself and be alone, and no— that doesn’t make me lonely. Being with myself means I don’t have to fight for attention. Being with myself means that I don’t have to pretend that I’m a different person.”
~ thalia b.
“You can’t let people scare you. You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being you. Because if you do, you’re no longer you. You’re someone everyone else wants you to be.”
I was born swimming against the current without being aware I was doing so and continued to be ignorant of my course for more than four decades before somewhere along the way I developed somehow a soft spot and all of a sudden I find myself -caring is not the right word but I will use it for the lack of a better one- caring what people might think of me. It’s addictive. Once you start concerning yourself with such things, it is difficult to stop. That’s about the time I started wearing lipstick and wear more appropriate clothes. I don’t go about wearing jogging suits anymore and ditched rapper/skater attires. I still don’t do girly-girl stuff but there is definitely an improvement. I acquired bags as well. Pricey designer ones mind you. I still don’t use them unless necessary but I have them. I miss the time when I don’t even have a wallet and my cellphone fits in my shorts pocket and I don’t even have to comb my hair. Those were the days. Now, I learned about loose powder and highlighter but I draw the line on fond de teint and concealer. I refused to treat my face like a wall, plastering them to look presentable. No eleven makeup brushes for me to dip in eleven different jars and bottles. Maintenance is more important to me than makeup anyway. I rather feel clean than looking pseudo-beautiful I don’t even recognize my own face in the mirror. But yeah, to each his own.
“I want to be in someplace I’ve never been to, I want to be a stranger to every face I meet there. I want the sky to be grey and the wind to be dusty, I no longer desire a blue sky and fresh air, I want to feel earthy. I want to walk around while my favorite song plays in my mind because my ears would be filled with the noise that waves do when they hug one another…I find freedom in locking myself far away, for freedom to me is not about the place but who put you there.”
I’m someone who wouldn’t mind spending all day alone.
Only one thing would make me feel alone.
Being with people I don’t feel myself with, being at places that don’t match my soul.
Being silent when I want to talk the most.
Being lonely isn’t sitting all by myself,
It’s being confined in an atmosphere that doesn’t make me feel real.
Perhaps the hardest lesson for me to learn was to love myself enough to not accept from myself or from anyone less than I deserve. To say no when I do not feel like doing something, to not let anyone manipulate me using guilt or sob stories and to live my life on my own terms. I do not owe anyone any explanations for how I live my life and I certainly will not put anyone’s wants, needs or desires before my own again and whoever finds this does not suit their agenda of using me, farewell. Sorry but from now on, myself first.
“And perhaps, you would still cross my mind after two, three, five or sadly, ten years later. Maybe after those times, I’d still wonder how it feels growing old with you. Maybe after those years, I would slowly turn into a blurred image sluggishly subsiding in your memory. Maybe, after all, you will remain as my could-have-been
I will stay as your never-again.”
– Mica Meñez