by rantywoman

Now that my days are numbered here, I’m packing in a ton of “going and doing” before I leave town. Out of necessity, I’m going most places alone, and I’m realizing that, regardless of my job circumstances, I most certainly wouldn’t have lasted more than another year here with such thin social networks. I don’t want to become the woman who is always out alone (although ironically, going out amongst people does tend to put my problems in perspective, and this blog always seems silly to me when I realize that other people are absorbed in their own woes).

I’m starting to prefer my dance and yoga classes, where it’s comfortable being solo and where the emphasis is not on the social. I’ve started wondering lately if it’s possible to live the next half of my life not caring about the social at all. On one hand, I’m somewhat bored with those concerns, and I continually grow more interested in intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual questions. On the other hand, my growing disinterest in the social is a practical necessity, as with each passing year, I have less and less of a place in the social realm. I’m not sure how much my interests in other matters is a result of maturity and how much is compensation.

I still relate to this (

Indeed, there’s a certain hour of the night—usually right before I go to sleep, when the noise of the city has abated and I can hear the anxious whirring of my own mind—when my aloneness strikes me with renewed strength, almost as a metaphysical condition to be uneasily pondered: What am I doing adrift in a queen-size bed, with no one’s snoring to grumpily ignore or leg to push out of the way? How did I get to this place, where everyone I know seems to be coupled, happily or unhappily, but coupled all the same? (Although I don’t mean to suggest that I’d prefer being in just any relationship to being on my own.) And am I fated to be stuck in this condition? From here it’s a hop, skip, and jump to forecasting the scene of my own death, à la Bridget Jones, with no one to find me before the dogs have finished off my remains.

And to her conclusion (as the idea of communal living grows more appealing to me):

Perhaps the real issue has less to do with whether we end up in a pair or alone than with the ­dramatic lack of options in how we conceive of adult living arrangements. By far the most intriguing part of Going Solo, tucked away in the conclusion, has to do with a description of the cooperative housing that exists in Stockholm, where people of different ages and sometimes genders live in collective dwellings, alone but not isolated. One such building, called Färdknäppen, operates like a modified kibbutz—offering different-size units, depending on family size, along with communal dining and shared ­services such as exercise classes and hobby rooms. To me, it sounds ideal—a way of living with others outside the usual confinement of coupledom. I can’t imagine that this kind of visionary housing will be hitting our shores anytime soon, though, so in the meantime I’ll have to make do with navigating my solo life as best I can, trying to ignore those lines from Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” that I can’t get out of my mind: “Don’t make no difference what nobody says/ Ain’t nobody like to be alone.” Ain’t that the truth.