Friday, July 23rd, 2010 • 3 Comments on Leave Me Alone
I’m stealing an hour to myself at Starbucks, presumably to catch up on e-mail (which I did) and write (which I haven’t), but really it’s just an hour of time to myself. With the exception of the two baristas who are working, Starbucks is empty and I’m blissfully alone. Of course, I’m not really alone at all since I’m sitting in a public place and I’m tethered to various technologies that make it easy for anyone to reach me. But it feels like I’m alone and for the past almost eight months, feeling like I’m alone is the best I can really do.
I’m a bad mother. A bad wife. A bad friend. A bad writer, too, truth be told. See, I like being alone. Sometimes. I’m not looking to move to the woods and live in a cabin a al the Unibomber, but I enjoy my alone time. Which is why I can look at my adorable baby and his cute father who has been gone all week and say, “I’m going to Starbucks for an hour” without any sense of guilt. Okay, maybe there’s a little guilt. Okay, there’s a lot of guilt. Just like there’s guilt when I tell friends I’m too busy working to make social plans, when what I’m really doing is sitting in my corner of Starbucks, doing… whatever. Presumably writing (or doing the editor thing), but sometimes—not often, but sometimes—I’m just sitting here, daydreaming and enjoying the time alone. Sometimes… oh my… I even ignore my texts and e-mails and just revel in my aloneness.
I’ll take the guilt over the smothered-by-people feeling I get when I’ve gone too long without any time alone. I love my life and the people in it, but sometimes… a girl just needs to be alone. I could use some real alone time. A hotel room, room service, maybe a city to explore completely on my own. That’s what I’m doing sometimes when I’m alone at Starbucks—planning trips or at least hotel overnighters where it’s just me and my thoughts. I’m thinking I might even make it happen one of these days. Oh, the guilt! Oh, the bliss! But for now, it’s an hour to myself in my neighborhood coffee shop, taking a breath and finding my center (along with getting my caffeine fix). This little slice of stolen time makes me a happier person. So maybe even though I feel like a bad mother, wife, friend and writer, perhaps I’m actually better for the time I steal for myself. Perhaps I have more to give when I give to myself first.
And on that note, I’m off to be not alone. Until tomorrow, at least.