Leave Me Alone

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. wink

Posted by Kristina in Musings
  • Faith says:

    You’re not a bad person for wanting to be alone! I covet my alone time, and I get really, really cranky if I don’t have it. I haven’t thought about doing the one-night-away thing before… maybe I should try it sometime when I get really blocked for creativity.

    I like people, but being around too many too often is very, very draining. Give me a corner of the coffee shop, a mug of steaming java, my laptop, and several hours alone, and I’ll come home refreshed and happy.

    Thankfully, my husband understands… though I don’t think he’ll ever really “get it”. Haha.

  • I’ve done that hotel room thing and it’s everything you dream it would be.
    Check in and go straight to the room.  THE ROOM.  White on white on white on the bed.
    And the bathroom has art in it, and a heat lamp in the ceiling in case I’m chilly after my two hour long bath.  Which I’ll take – later.  Because the first thing I do, after I’ve unpacked and put away my suitcase so my room stays pristine – is nap.  Glorious sleep, all by myself in the white on white on white bed.

    I may swim, or at least go loll in the whirlpool, later.
    I have a book and a magazine and my notebook to write in.
    I may eat in the dining room or – yes!  I’ll call room service and have the meal come to me.
    A fellow dressed in white will bring me a stainless steel cart with a white table cloth.
    My meal will be under round metal lids that have kept it piping hot.
    Oh Gawd.  Thank you.  Thank you God for inventing hotels and room service.
    I might muse on the whole ‘hotel’ idea.  When did it start?  This idea of renting out a lovely room for a night, two nights, or three?  Who was God’s instrument in inventing hotels?

    I step out onto my balcony, because rooms I rent must have balconies.  I look down on the view and the view is fabulous, even if it’s a view of the parking lot.
    I peruse the ‘hotel amenities book.  I open the cupboard that conceals my television.
    Perhaps I’ll rent a movie tonight.
    It’s all up to me.  I can do whatever I want to do, when I want to do it.
    Because I’m alone in my beautiful room.

    Leonard Cohen said, “I am a hotel.”
    Me too, Leonard, me too . . .

  • Kristina says:

    Thanks, Faith. grin

    Madeline… you transported me with your story. I love it!

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.