What breaks my heart when I hear someone say, “I don’t know how you can live alone,” is the hidden assumption behind the words that my home is somehow a prison of inescapable torture or overwhelming loneliness and despair.
More than once in the last 5 years someone has told me: “I don’t know how you can live alone.” The person saying this always has roommates or a partner or a spouse or a family and they have a routine together that this person cannot imagine life without. But that’s not everything that is communicated by stating an experiential ignorance to a household of solitude.
Perhaps I was more inspired by Superman growing up than I consciously realized but, since the beginning of 2017, other than a few periods lasting no longer than 1–6 months I have lived in a fortress of solitude of my own making. Though I am not completely alone (I have two cats and many plants) my home is a space that is mine and I am responsible for it. As such, I am careful who I invite into my space because it is a place of rest for me.
What breaks my heart when I hear someone say, “I don’t know how you can live alone,” is the hidden assumption behind the words that my home is somehow a prison of inescapable torture or overwhelming loneliness and despair. I can allow this misguided belief since I also work from home, and everyone hates work (therefore how could I not also hate home) but this simply is not my experience.
I leave my house daily. I see people out and about. My community is plural and pleasant. I travel the country throughout the year. My world is vast, colorful, varied, and rich in history. Why should I feel imprisoned by the place I feel the safest enough to trust my sleeping body in such a large, chaotic world? What regrets should I have in being able to enjoy my own company?
It has never been every night that I am alone. On occasion I host friends and family and I enjoy the company these opportunities provide. Movies, board games, meals, and brave conversations have happened in my home. I feel a certain safety inside, and I hope my friends do, too. If my life is blessed with rich relationships and I am content with what I have been given, why should I even entertain the question: “how can you live alone?”