About three years ago I found myself alone. I had just ended a major relationship and was moving into my own place for the first time ever. I’d always lived with family or friends or boyfriends; this was going to be the first time I was going to have a place that was truly just mine. I had rented a cute little bachelor suite on the top floor of a high-rise in English Bay, right on the water in downtown Vancouver. It had windows that spanned the entire apartment. It was small and old, but it was beautiful. And it was mine.
That first night alone in my new suite was rough. After all of my stuff was moved in, I sat alone in the silence. There was no one else there. No one to talk to or cook for or hang out with. I looked at my dining room table, sitting desolately in the corner. How would I eat by myself? I couldn’t remember the last time I had a meal alone. I dreaded going to bed. What would it be like to sleep alone? There would be no one there when I woke up in the middle of the night. There would be no one to say good morning when I got up to make breakfast. The loneliness was stifling. I sat on the floor amidst the boxes and cried. After a while, I hooked up my TV and put in a DVD of Sex and the City just so that there would be voices in the apartment and I wouldn’t feel so alone.
I got used to it of course. Soon I grew to love living by myself. When my current partner and I moved in together I was ready for it, but I did mourn the loss of my single life just a little bit.
A couple of weeks ago, my partner had to leave town suddenly for a family emergency. After a mad scramble to get him off to the airport on time, I put the baby to bed and sat down on the couch. I immediately noticed the silence. My condo seemed so empty without him in it. I had a flash back to that first night by myself in my downtown apartment, and although I knew that he would be home soon, I was plagued by similar doubts. Could I do this alone? Could I take care of the baby with no help at all? What would it be like without him there?
It’s amazing how quickly I got accustomed to the non-single life again. I think that it’s time for me to take a trip downtown, maybe go for a walk on the seawall in front of my old apartment. I want to remember that single girl who once doubted herself but discovered that no matter what, she could do it.