Thursday, December 8, 2016


In the debate between being lonely and being alone, loneliness is generally thought to be the worse option. Lately I've found that I definitely don't feel lonely, but I am desperately alone.

As a kid, I didn't believe in fairy tales, where the prince rescues the princess and they live happily after ever. A lot of that belief, I attribute to this song, the Cheetah Girls' single "Cinderella" — my childhood girl-power anthem, the foundation of my feminist values before I even knew what a feminist was. I grew up lip-synching this at least once a week at lunch as a first grader. Though I don't remember all the words, I've still found myself singing what I remember from the chorus from time to time (talk about empowerment! All of the lyrics are gold).
"I don't want to be like Cinderella // Sittin' in a dark cold dusty cellar // Waitin' for somebody to come and set me free ... Don't wanna be no, no, no one else // I’d rather rescue myself.
I will be there for him just as strong as he will be there for me // When I give myself then it has got to be an equal thing."
But it's not Cinderella's fault that she's in a situation that she needs to be saved from. I do argue that Cinderella is partly responsible for saving herself, as her kindness is what sets her apart. She did her part, and the universe rewarded her.

Another reason for taking month away from friends was that I know I want to be with them, but I needed to know that I didn't need to be with them. I value my independence too much, perhaps to an unhealthy amount, to bear the thought of needing any person. But even without talking with them for a month, I didn't feel lonely. I don't see them in person much anyway, unfortunately, but there is a strong enough bond that I don't worry about a lack of friendship.

If it hadn't been clear to me before, it was incredibly clear now: I know I'm capable of being alone. I've proven to myself time and time again that I can handle it. That's what I do. I can take care of myself. But I don't have to. And for once, I want to be with someone. I don't want to be alone. There's strength in that vulnerability, to put trust wholeheartedly into someone else, knowing that it could be shattered. I've feared that. I've experienced it, in trusting the people who were supposed to take care of me, but they hurt me instead. I also know I can recover.

I never thought I'd want a prince showing up and fixing my problems, but now, it's fairly tempting to want someone to come into my life and make it all better. Sometimes I'm too tired to take care of myself, and sometimes friends aren't available to help. For once, I want to be sure that I am someone's priority (and naturally, I want to make that person my priority.) I know I can be alone, but I don't want to be alone anymore. ◊

EDIT/ADDENDUM: This goes for any relationship, friend or otherwise. It's not that I want or need a "relationship," but rather the security of having a guaranteed mutual best friend-ship.

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