I learned that there is a freedom in singledom that I never knew existed until I became single again.
I developed an odd habit of driving in the middle of the night shortly after I was free.
I have always suffered from terrible bouts of insomnia and used to wander restlessly around the house. Up and down, up and down, up and down and I made myself crazy with it. When I became single, there was nothing to stop me from exploring the middle of the night on my own. There is a wonderful feeling I still get when the night is clear and quiet, the stars beam brightly and the moon lights my way. I listen to the opera, which I never do with anyone else in the car because it seems to annoy most everyone else in my life. I buy coffee from Dunkin Donuts at three in the morning as I go about my travels. I have done this so many times that the man, who works the graveyard shift, recognizes me and wishes me a safe a trip each time I go.
The world looks so different in the dead of night and when my soul is simply quiet of the chaos and disorder it is drenched with otherwise. I notice the way the light plays in the town, or the absence of it in the random bare field or grove of trees. I find a bit of peace. I make plans and dreams and think my own thoughts with no one to interrupt them except for the odd bit of wildlife that may dart in my path.
I learned, being single, that butter knives have a variety of uses other than to spread butter and that high heeled shoes, with a good wooden heel, pound nails in very well. I learned that painting straight lines on walls are much more difficult than painting a mural. I learned that necessity truly is the mother of invention and I am capable of inventing quick fixes if not permanent ones. I learned that I have a lot more strength than I ever gave myself credit for. I learned that I like my taste and having a painting of Elvis and Jesus in heaven hanging up over my dining table is a great conversation starter. I learned that my ideas, my feelings, my voice was important if only to myself.
I learned that having the whole bed to myself is not all it's cracked up to be. I learned that at the end of the day, making every decision on my own, though I am perfectly capable, is exhausting. I learned that the silence of the dead of night is more lonely than I care to have or know. I learned that when I am afraid, there is no one to tell me it will be okay. I learned that the empty parts of life are empty for a reason-because I am single.
I learned that I can fill my life with distractions and good deeds. I can fill up time with children and activities. I can paint extravagant murals on bathroom walls without permission, and write novels til two in the morning. I can watch every movie I ever wanted to watch and never got the chance to. I can work long hours and make a difference in someone's life by the work I do. But nothing--nothing replaces that empty space where the person I am to share my life with resides. Nothing fills up the spot where the love of a mate goes. Nothing does.
There truly is a price for freedom and there are those days it feels a bit too high.
Monika M. Basile