There are moments, in this life I have chosen, where I hear the ghosts of all that could have been walk down the hallways of my mind. I reflect back on the long and windy path my life has taken thus far, and wonder if I have made the right choices. I wonder if it is even possible to make right choices. While this type of reflection has both haunted and blessed me throughout my entire life, when I am solo traveling they echo louder. Whispers of doubt question the path I’ve taken thus far, and my choice to take it alone.
Most the time I find joy in this solitude. I revel in the freedom granted to a young woman in this time period. I wear bright lipstick, buy unnecessary amounts of shawls and maybe even wear my dress a little too short.* But today is not one of those times. Today I feel the pangs of solitude so acutely I can almost feel the fingers that could be laced between mine. I feel the hint of heat from another body in the sheets to my left. Sometimes the wondering of what different could be like creates it’s own reality. Even though I know I have chosen to walk solo this far, and even though I know I wouldn’t enjoy this adventure as much if I walked hand in hand, I sometimes can’t shake this feeling of wanting different. This feeling of insecurity that maybe, some how, this solitude is a reflection of my self worth.
Have I really chosen to walk alone, or is that my self preservation kicking in? Am I actually someone who’s own standards of partners does not match their reality of what can be obtained? Sometimes I wish to share these adventures with someone else.
I get it most days. Most days I accept the good with the bad, and continue to acknowledge the standards I have set in my life knowing I will be happier in the long run because of them. I have spent hours discussing this topic with my lovely and supportive friends. I am so blessed to walk this life with some of the most amazing humans on this plant. I hope they truly know how much they mean to me. Yet, I still wanted to speak to this loneliness. To the bone deep feeling that sometime strikes without reason. To the longing, the hoping, and the wondering even as I am learning to love my whole self. Every time I leave to solo travel I am learning to love myself in a method unlike I’ve otherwise experienced. Tomorrow I will be ok. Tomorrow I will wake and up laugh from the Joy of solitude. But today I acknowledge the times when I feel alone. Today I pay homage to all the other strong, independent women who sometimes wonder what different could look like.
*Sorry dad 😉