Next week the people I'm living with take off for California, Uganda, and India, and I'll have the place to myself until some time in April. I've never lived alone. Ever. But I am glad for a chance to have a taste of it before I begin what will be 20, 30, 40 years of marriage. You know, as long as we both shall live. Never done that either.
I'm interested to see what the experience of living alone will be like for me and how it may relate to what comes after. Perhaps I need some sweet solitude before I enter the next phase. Maybe keeping house on my own will reinforce my conviction that together is better than alone -- to keep me from looking back with regret. It may motivate me for the hard work of compromise that will come with marriage and family life. It's a chance to experiment with autonomy, while I still can. And to learn what lessons it may have for me.
It's not like I'll be all alone, all the time. I have a car, after all. There are places to go, places with people. Chris will come over, and I'll still be at his place pretty often. Then this summer we'll get married; I'll live with Chris and Daniel, and sometimes Haley. So my solitude will not be shadowed by the fear I've been haunted by in recent years, the fear that I'm going to end up alone because I'm not the kind of person other people want to have around. Nope: not going to happen.
At any rate, I'm grateful for the provision of this living situation. Six weeks of companionship with some like-minded friends, that's been great. Then a place of my own. For a while.
Something I've penciled in for the first couple days after they are gone is to put up my Christmas tree. Fetched it from the storage unit last week; the box is in the trunk of my car. I left nearly all the decorations back in Denver with Deb. They were mostly hers, I think, and she will be there one more Christmas before she too moves and will not have a place for them.
So yesterday I went to Target and bought some lights and baubles for the tree. I'll add these to my collection of ornaments, mostly snowflakes crocheted by my grandmother a few years before she died. If the tree still looks bare -- will it? -- I'll see if I can persuade my nieces-to-be to help me with some origami. They all went to a Japanese-language elementary school and apparently mastered the art. For me, a chance to learn something new.
The next year should hold many such opportunities.