never married, over forty, a little bitter


I realized this morning as I was puttering around that I’ve been feeling out of sorts due to all the loss I’m experiencing (hormonal shifts don’t help either). Here are some of them:

1) The loss of the idea of my former city as “home.”
2) The loss of the type of friends (my former roommate had once been one) who call often to gossip and vent. I’ve had to realize some people just aren’t like that– they are happy to see me occasionally but feel no need for long, intimate conversations on a regular basis. Currently my friends fit in to that latter category, while my personality type craves more of the former.
3) The loss of my closest physical and emotional connection– I finally had to call things “quits” with the guy who was never able to commit. Hopefully we will stay in touch.
4) The loss of my former identity, that of the woman who lived surrounded by independent bookstores, art cinemas, small comedy venues, art galleries, and the like. The last couple of years I had pulled back on those activities, as I had aged out of some and had grown tired of going to events alone all the time, but having those things at best an hour away has left me wondering who I am without them.

I’ve decided to go easy on myself in this adjustment period. There may be lots of time wasted on the weekends watching TV and surfing the net while I adjust.

the new world

I posted a question about whether it was “pathetic” to have roommates in your late thirties on Facebook and received quite a few interesting responses. My cousin, a professional in her early forties who has had a roommate for years and has saved a busload of money responded “There is nothing pathetic about it! The world is changing. Growing up, getting married, having kids, buying a house, and going into debt is not the way we have to live our lives anymore. The rules of the game are changing!”

Really, there is nothing pathetic about sharing resources with a group of like-minded people. If anything, we are at the forefront of a brave, new world. A world where seniors are choosing co-housing villages over bland retirement communities, where open learning communities are decommodifying education, where car-sharing and coworking spaces are becoming the norm, and where choosing roommates beyond the twenties is a sign of being wise enough to recognize that individualism is overrated—and most definitely isn’t a marker of having “made it” in the world. In fact, I’m learning that cultivating the ability to work and live with others in a way that ensures the well-being of everyone involved, while sharing resources and respecting individual needs is the new paradigm—the true sign of being a real grown-up.

the firewall

As I mentioned before, my kundalini yoga practice has kept me centered and has muted a lot of my anxiety and negativity. It’s like a firewall, protecting me from negative thoughts.

But these last few days I admit I have been beneath a cloud. I’m listening to Lifesaving Lessons by Linda Greenlaw, and it’s heartening to hear such an adventurous, gutsy broad admit to some sadness about entering her forties unmarried and childless, to despair about her romantic relationship hitting a wall, and to fear that her true friendships come down to only one or two people. I also related to her confusion over both her desire for solitude and her need for company.

The weather has been delightful here and the beach is beautiful, but I can’t stop my psyche from signaling that something is amiss. That having only a couple of connections, connections that are thirty minutes to an hour drive away, is insufficient. That having very few people to converse with, and none on a regular basis, is unsafe.

There’s no way I can immediately remedy any of these problems, so I hope the firewall can keep me from feeling overly negative about them in the meantime.