I should keep this brief, because I'm afraid if I don't, I'm gonna regret it.
I had an interesting talk with a friend today, and she continued to expound, after a similar chat last week, on all the reasons she loves being single. I wholeheartedly agree - being single is amazing! I love the freedom, the Independence, the lack of responsibility that comes in the shape of having to think of another person's needs and wants before my own. Sound selfish? It might be, and my friend and I agreed that oftentimes being single is the easy way out. Easy because it requires no change, no sacrifice, and for the most part it breeds a lack of qualities such as compromise and selflessness. The marriages that I've seen, while rewarding, seem like a lot of hard work, requiring a level of sacrifice and vulnerability and patience that I can't even imagine. I've heard the payout is amazing - a shared life, trust, unity, intimacy, having a partner to do life with, having children and so on and so forth. I'm pretty sure both situations have their pro's and con's, however, having a limited perspective, I definitely fall into the "Singleness Rules!!!" camp.
But as I was sitting here, reflecting on all the ways that being single is great, and all the things about it that I love, I realized that the only real thing about single that I don't appreciate is having to go to bed alone. It is never till I have to go hit the hay that my singleness ever stares me back in the face. It is then that I truly feel, and am, alone. I can fill up my day with people, and service, and a million other things that keep my time and attention occupied. But it isn't till I'm tucked in (by myself of course, since there's no one to tuck me in), and in the quiet stillness that comes before sleep that I ever wish I wasn't single. I'm not sure why, exactly, since I've slept alone my entire life. The solitude of an empty bed, of not having another face to say good night and good morning to, and the deep buried longing that it brings to the surface in me, is inexplicable.
Or is it? I mean, I know all the schtuff about how we, as people, were not created to be alone. We are relational beings, needed company and conversation and community. I get how that makes sense and do not try to deny that at times, I have thrown it in God's face as a pseudo-argument for my own discontentment. But I'm not discontent now, as a matter of fact, I'm hardly willing to part with my life as I know it, I like it so much. In talking with said friend, I mentioned to her that it would take one helluva man to make me want a relationship more than I want my quiet solitude and the peacefulness of my single life. (By the way, I feel like when I say things like that, I sound like a 65 year old man, living in a great big house alone with nothing but his jazz records and cardigans and gardening for company). So, what is it about this bewitched hour? This cerebrally unaccounted for period? This, this, BEDTIME???
I'm not sure, but I do know this, as I head off to sleep soon, after a lovely evening spent enjoying the three B's - Bronte (Charlotte), Beer and Buckley (Jeff, that is), I pray that sleep comes swift and heavy. I hope that there is no time between my head hitting the pillow and my consciousness shutting down, for me to think or dwell on, or even recognize this lacking element in my life. Because after all, life is what you make of it, and I have a pretty good life as far as things go and I don't plan on finding anything to regret about it. I may be sleeping alone, but as far as perspective goes, it's not the end of the world, or anything to get worked up about. As a matter of fact, in the big picture sleeping alone is not something I want to lose any sleep over. And that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.