Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Being Alone vs. Loneliness

How lucky am I? Two weeks ago I took off for the mountains. Just me and my bagful of goodies. Girly movies, a good (new) Nicholas Sparks book (The Lucky One which I managed to finish in 2 1/2 days), my new pink laptop and plenty of comfy clothes. I couldn't wait to get up to the cabin in Crestline (thanks to Tom and Diane for letting me use it) to have some alone, me time. I wanted to just veg out and not have to worry about anything or anyone except myself. Selfish? Probably yes but something I needed and wanted to do. Maybe I wanted to see how I'd do on my own. You know "me against the world". I had to rely on only myself to get in the cabin, go into the basement to turn on the water, water heater, etc. It was dark and I didn't like climbing into the dark room under the bedroom alone but I did it. "Hey I can do this." The first night was short since I arrived close to the seven o'clock hour. I got settled in, put in the first disc of Pride & Prejudice, the A&E version with Colin Firth (yum) and got comfortable on the couch. The cell phone reception at the cabin was patchy at best but I felt good and loved when I got a call from my family just as I had arrived and then an instant message making sure I had reception when I didn't answer the phone. I was happy to hear from them but hadn't quite had time to miss them, yet.

The next morning I awoke to the crisp mountain air. Immediately the need for coffee was a must. I made some breakfast and got right to the second disc of P&P. The afternoon lead to a nice walk around the surrounding streets. I found myself out on one of the more populated through streets. Granted it still wasn't that busy with traffic, with an occasional car passing me every couple minutes. I had to wonder though, "what if?" What if I fell and no one found me? What if a stranger stopped the car and grabbed me? Would anyone miss me? How long would it be before someone noticed I was gone? One of the down falls of going to the mountains alone I suppose.

Although I was enjoying my time alone, I found myself a little restless and filling the time with movies, sitting outside reading or playing games on my computer. Nothing too deep or thought provoking. I had wanted to write. Write some articles I had been meaning to start or get off paper and into the computer. Jot down some verses for greeting cards I wanted to submit this week but none of those things seemed it get done. I felt like inside I was babysitting myself. Like was doing everything I could to avoid what I intended to do while I was there, find myself. Think about what I really wanted for myself going forward. The only real thing I learned was that I don't like being alone. I don't like feeling lonely.

Now don't get me wrong, there is something wonderful about having time to yourself. Maybe a day off at the beach or a quiet afternoon at home with just the dog but being truly alone, isolated from friends and family for a period of time longer than 8 hours isn't something I enjoyed as much as I thought I would. I was lonely and I longed for my family, my routine. Eating alone was particularly hard for me. I was sad every time I got up to make myself a meal. Perhaps I was just feeling sorry for myself (I know, being alone in a mountain cabin is probably a dream come true for most of you!). I longed for the phone to ring and have it be my family saying they missed me. I guess I really longed to hear my husband missed me.

As I prepared to take a drive down to the Lake Gregory to walk around it and enjoying the scenery, I couldn't help but be excited to enjoy the rest of my time alone but also happy in the knowledge that I was going home that evening. When I arrived Sunday night it had been dark so I pulled up to the end of the driveway that stops right in front of the door. I was scared so I wanted to be close to the entrance of the cabin since it was so dark up there. Well, getting in was no problem but getting out was another story. As I started to back up and guide the Tahoe around the sharp right I had to make to get around the tree stump, I felt the tires slipping under me. The right side of the truck started to lean into the hill. Crap, I was stuck in a hole with no traction and the truck tilting heavily to the right side. The hill next to the driveway is somewhat steep and leads straight down to the road below. SHIT!!! I got out of the truck and proceeded to freak. I called Triple A (thank God for AAA). They would send a tow truck out to pull me out of the dirt. Great! No walk for me but at least I'd be able to go home that evening as planned.

After getting lost the tow truck finally arrived. After accessing the situation, the driver attempted to back the flatbed truck up the steep, dirt driveway. No go. Not gonna happen. He says they have to send back a classic tow truck that has 4 wheel drive. Unfortunately that truck is towing something to Apple Valley and won't be back till later but they can get it done today, even if it's dark. Guess what? He was wrong. As dusk approached I phoned AAA again and they informed me they couldn't come back out until morning. NO!! By this time I was so ready to go home to my family. As beautiful, peaceful and restful as it was, I had my mind set on going home. But I was stuck and better accept I was there for another night. I called my husband crying as I was worried about him going to work the next day, the kids, etc. He assured me they were fine. Glad they were. The night brought on new sounds and the wind (which caused a lot of the noises). I was restless all night for various reasons, one being I kept imagining the truck blowing over in the wind and crashing down the side of the hill right onto the street causing an accident!! It didn't happen and the tow truck finally came and got me out in less than 5 minutes.

It wasn't life threatening but it scared the shit out of me and showed me that I truly don't want to be alone in this world. I know being up at the cabin had a lot to do with it. When I am at home, in my own house with my friends and family only a phone call or walk outside my door away, being alone finds itself not as threatening. It is something I can live with and imagine I will have to at some point or another in my life. The marriage may not work, the kids will move out and start a life of their own. The dog dies. That leaves me alone with just my thoughts which lately all seem to be about how I don't want to be alone and lonely.