My flatmates have all vanished for the past week or two, so I have a three bedroom house all to myself.
Last year I would have worried to be alone however something seems to have shifted. Recently I find being alone to be rather satisfying. I smile at my progress and wonder where it came from. Perhaps it was just a few tweaks, a different arrangement of things that made all the difference.
My no-holiday uni break had turned into that of an experiment. My days seemed to consist of books, dogs, getting money and saving whilst the nights were spent watching things I usually would go out of my way, not to watch and then dissolving into an art project, until my hands couldn’t fathom another stroke.
It was almost like I had adopted the lifestyle or the diet of an introvert and to my surprise, it seemed to suite me.
Not talking to anyone, not calling friends like I usually do. I craved leaving the city and finding somewhere green and open. Just to think and be.
I also stopped dating about a month ago. It was the first time in 9 months and at first it felt quite scary.
I began feeling all these unresolved feelings from the last guy and the guy before that pop up. Things I thought I didn’t have to deal with. At first I would feel a pang of loneliness when Friday would rear its head, with a lack of plans or texts waiting. And then even envy, when my flatmates would bring guys back and exhibit a excited, sparkly energy about them. Like the first taste of fairy floss, ripe on your tongue.
Of the revolving door of people I dated last year, I held the lifts open for one. He was wonderful but just didn’t have time for me. And when I made the call, I said I would be open to exploring the ‘what if’ when he was freer.
So I think a romantic yet pathetic part of me was waiting, hopeful. But then my flatmate said she saw him back online the day before Christmas and so I knew our time had run out.
However, when I finally stopped waiting, I gave up. And to my surprise, instead of despair something new fit itself nicely into place.
I started enjoying my days instead of secretly waiting for them to pass quicker. One by one, I filled them with things on my bucket-list. And because I had the time before uni began, I stuck to it.
I did my first intense uni course and actually enjoyed it.
I finished two books I had been slowly reading for months and found two new room mates.
I got back into the gym 6 days a week.
I charcoaled a nude and three octopuses.
I cleaned up the studio and my room.
I enrolled myself into ballet classes for adults.
I bought a new chair for a new year and got rid of an old one, on account it was so fucking uncomfortable.
I also bought two MASSIVE frames, that I said I would buy for over a year now.
I met new people – dogs too – and found a weekly routine that was both spontaneous in parts but also quite the same. And I received a free bunch of bananas and an internship from dog walking. WILD.
However I think the biggest shift was reading my first feminist book which completely changed how I see myself. And a teacher from uni, call me an ‘artist,’ which was a label I had never worn before.
However I also found parts of the person I was missing, following me around too ( the one from the lift). A lot of the dogs I walked were in his suburb; the bus passing his work everyday for what seemed like a month.
Come Christmas I did wonder if I’d received a text. But instead I reconnected with two girls I use to be best-friends with, ran after two little girls in mermaid outfits and downed 4 deliciously-sweet cocktails. Thus, the day didn’t really need that text, even if it did come.
Amongst all this chaos of discovery, I found myself during the day feeling intense pings of pure joy, of contentment or dare I say something a little stronger. I felt happy. It didn’t last for more than a minute or not even that, but I felt it. The uncomplicated nature of it. The lack of complexity and the warmth, dancing across my skin.
Not tethered to someone else or my phone. It was a nice change to say the least, not having to watch myself so closely. Not wondering or trying to guess when the intensity would crumble and burn. Not dating felt liberating.
I also started branching out on what I watched, which started with my Octopus Teacher and ended with Gangs of London. Every episode is carnage but also so gripping! I watched at least 4 episodes a day.
Because of this, my nightly mediations took on an alternative meaning. While in bed and ready to sleep, my guided body scans merged with the violence from the show, and all I could imagine was a gun lighting up every place the recording mentioned.
“First the eyes, then the temples, and then the whole head…. BANG! “
However, ever since I stopped daily meditation and took up pastels, I have started to notice my dreams were also becoming more scary and more realistic than ever before.
As scary as watching someone be cut up with a avitoir machine, my dreams contained people from my past. Basically when I was a different person; a stuck person in highschool and even in my first relationship.
It scared me. I often woke up worried. So realistic, I replayed the same feelings as before but more intensified.
In one dream, I followed my old lover around in my head, like he owned me. Like he had more of a leading role in my life than I did.
Another night I dreamt of a bomb going off in a carpark and my dad and I running for cover, but we don’t make it. Or even friends I valued that didn’t see the value in me. My dreams allowing me to relive the rejection over and over again.
I then wake up worried and try to let it go. Perhaps that’s why during the day I don’t feel lonely at all.
I am filled with the busy ghosts of the past, wanting things I can’t give them.
People I loved, no longer there.
Details about them that I consciously can’t remember, even if I wanted to, my dreams pull up. It’s like my my mind is showing me all my suppressed thoughts. Holding my head up and pinching my eyes open, as if to say, “LOOK!”
“No!” I say,
“Please!” But they won’t leave.
It’s kind of scary to think about what your subconscious does with your thoughts and memories at night, when you have no control. Why it either tortures you or lets you sleep peacefully…