Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Alone Alone

on March 6, 2015
Free Bike Photo by Natara

Image courtesy of Natara with FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Each month’s issue of Writer’s Digest contains a piece called “5-Minute Memoir”—a chance for authors to share a bit of their writing journey. In the most recent memoir, the writer wrote about her grieving process after the deaths of her mother and grandmother. She had always been very close to her family and these losses within months of each other hit her hard.

I understand. My mom has been gone for over 30 years and my last grandparent died in 1992. Every loss changes the person dealing with it. And we each handle grief in our own way. This writer took to her bike—riding for hours in solitude. She called it being “alone alone.” Her desire to get away is understandable. And I also get her choice to be alone, which Merriam-Webster defines as “separated from others” or “exclusive of anyone or anything else.”

But “alone alone,” to me, goes deeper than the dictionary definition. That kind of aloneness is something beyond your control. It means you want to be with people, but it’s not an option.

Last weekend, I had two events planned in two different towns—one with family, the other with friends. Getting to both events then home again meant almost three hours of driving. On the first leg—during which I was to follow another car—I hoped someone would ride with me so I’d have companionship for at least part of the drive. But it didn’t work out, and I was alone. I turned up the 80s music on the radio, opened a bag of chocolates, and started writing this article in my head. It wasn’t what I wanted, but I handled it.

What else can you do? Somewhere during my 40s, I learned how to handle and accept being alone alone with more grace and fewer tears. It’s brought out my introvert tendencies while giving me a deeper empathy toward others in their isolation. We need people.

And that’s okay.

How do you handle being alone alone? Has it drawn you closer to God? Has it allowed you to minister better to others?

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One response to “Alone Alone

  1. only24dates says:

    I actually relocated to Chicago to be alone alone. I wanted to be with people, but was unhappy with the interactions that I was having and how those interactions were affecting me. I learned after 4 years that I do need people and have slowly been opening up. But in the moments of solitude, I found my love and relationship with God to grow so much…and when I talk to others about Him, they listen in a way that they never listened before.

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