The Two Month Mark : On being alone

I’ve hit a wall.

For real though I’m mad tired. One could even say exhausted. I noticed it this past weekend when I essentially hit the road again and started the final leg of my trip. In many ways I’m over being on the road.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have had and am having an amazing time. I have had the blessing of sharing my craft and my heart with hundreds of people, visited new places, connected with old friends and made new ones. I am excited to be spending the week teaching and sharing with students about God, art, and mission.

All these things are amazing. But having now hit the two month mark, I am just aware that the ones I love aren’t here with me. Those that know and understand me. Those that I love and that love me in return. It’s so wild cause there was a time when I would have a hard time missing people. If I told someone I missed them it was usually because I felt rude for not saying it back. lol But tonight I found myself initiating the sentiment and meaning every word.

I have so much more compassion for those who live on the road. I have even wondered a few times how people even do it. I also realise why some don’t travel alone. And though yes, I haven’t been traveling alone, when you are with strangers or those who don’t quite get you, in some ways it’s like you’re alone. It is still an isolating experience. You still yearn to be fully known and understood and you’re aware that the ones that do are at home living life.

Being on the road this long has also magnified how my nieces are growing up. The oldest’s birthday is this week and I’ll be away. I also missed her first day of school back in September. I know she’s remembering more now, and that grieves me. I want her to remember my presence, and not just my absence. Essentially I am understanding in a real way the cost of this lifestyle beyond intellectual assent. On a micro level, I am living it.

All things come at a cost. As I am preparing myself for my return home, I am having these conversations in myself in the back of my mind about what I’ve taken from this experience, what I want, what the future holds and the like. I don’t have any concrete answers yet, but I am more acutely aware of the costs of some of my desires and dreams.

As my peers and I grow older and make choices for our lives we are also changing, evolving and moulding ourselves into who we want to become. I know that more and more of my intimate relationships will become long distance ones. In one way it’s exciting because it means that we’re taking risks, chasing dreams, owning our fires. In another way it’s sobering because I know that it will mean that there will be fewer people in my immediate world with whom I can be fully known and seen.

I am thankful for technology that keeps us together and helps bridge the distance. But as I told a friend tonight, sometimes you just want to be held. And that can’t really be done through a screen. Which is a dilemma when touch is one of the key ways I feel loved.

In all this, I can’t help but have moments when I desire an intimate relationship that won’t ultimately succumb to distance. Which leads to questioning my thoughts on my singleness and whether it is something I want long term. Although I am open to staying single and see the beauty and gift that it is, lately I am not sure that I desire to have that gift long term. Which for me, is a really weird thought to have. It’s not often that I feel that way, but if I’m honest, I have been surprising myself a lot lately so it isn’t necessarily that weird.

The things that scare me about relationships are still scary and true. I am sure that there will still be days in the future that I will claim the #ForeverAlone life as the only life for me. But I am also seeing the possibilities and the way being partnered could truly be a blessing rather than a hindrance.

Now before you get all haughty and shout “I told you so!” at the screen. This isn’t about needing a man to be complete, or find my worth or value in. I am whole in Christ. Just as I am. He is and will always be more than enough. He has blessed me with family and community in ways I could never have dreamed up on my own. All that being said I am noticing longings in myself for partnership and companionship in ways that I haven’t before. And I recognise that those are good things and in many ways could make me a better me.

And that, surprisingly enough, is something I can be for.