On Being Alone

“He didn’t know why he was running away.
Maybe because being close to someone took a hell of a lot more guts than being alone.”
— Linda Castillo

I think I can identify with this quote far more than I’m comfortable with. It feels to me that a lot of single people my age (early twenties) seem to fall into two categories: either they desperately want to be in a committed relationship with a significant other, planning a future and a life together; or they’re flitting from one meaningless fling to another. And then there’s me. Content with being alone, determined to figure out my own identity and values before I entangle myself with another person.

I have this tendency to throw myself into relationships with others wholeheartedly — I have acquaintances and then I have close friendships that I focus a good deal of energy on, to be a good friend, to stay in contact with them when they move away. Once I’m in, I’m emotionally invested and it takes a lot to make me walk away from someone. Knowing this, understanding this aspect of myself, I’m hesitant to find a significant other. I feel that the most I can give people right now, is the sort of focus and investment which I give my close friends. I’m not ready to make that sort of all-encompassing commitment to someone when I don’t know where my future is taking me, when I am still forming my identity and focusing my beliefs.

Occasionally, though, I find myself wondering if I’m alone not because I don’t feel capable of fully committing to another person, but because I’m safe being alone and I’m just not brave enough to be that vulnerable with someone else.

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It was November…

It was November—the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables Series : Anne of the Island

A Micro-Rant About The Music Industry & A Playlist

Blog Challenge Day 13: What’s On Your Ipod?

To be honest, I’ve got about 1,000 songs on my iPod and another 5,000 stored on my computer.  I love music, the way it can make me feel or how easy it is to identify with lyrics written by a complete stranger. It’s one of the greatest human experiences- finding music that you can connect with. I’m such a snob about “mainstream” radio music- how someone else determines the image and sound of this random person with a decent voice and suddenly everyone is buying that album of this predetermined and manufactured “artist.” I know there are bands who make it big and who struggled for years to become the sensation that they are, who maintain most autonomy over the sound they create, but more and more that feels like the minority.

So, what’s on my iPod? I’ll give you a list. Listen and Enjoy.

Laura’s Top 10 Songs of the Moment (In No Particular Order Because They’re All Brilliant)

  1.   Afterlife — Arcade Fire — Reflektor

  2. Will Calls (Marfa Demo) — Grizzly Bear — Shields: B Sides

  3. Pompeii — Bastille — Bad Blood

  4. Wasting My Young Years — London Grammar — If You Wait

  5. All I Want — Kodaline — One Day

  6. Instant Crush — Daft Punk — Random Access Memories

  7. Lies — CHVRCHES — The Bones of What You Believe

  8. Until We Get There — Lucius — Wildewoman

  9. Comrade — Volcano Choir — Repave

  10. Do I Wanna Know? — Arctic Monkeys —  AM

In Which I Confess to That Time I Was An Idiot For Years…

Blog Challenge Day 12: Regrets

Four years ago, I was leaving a lecture hall and saw this boy and in an instant, I found myself believing in Soul Mates and Love-at-First-Sight and Forevers. I drove home from class and found myself pleading with whatever higher power there was, “please…please let him like me back.” And then? And then I did nothing.

Oh, I spent the rest of the semester subtly (or not so subtly) checking him out. Gushing about how incredibly good looking he was to all of my friends. Looking for him all over campus…but as for taking some sort of proactive stance in my life and actually asking him out? Nope. Not this girl. To be fair, I did introduce myself and surreptitiously discovered we had mutual friends then found him on Facebook and friended him over that summer.(Not creepy, Laura. Not creepy at all.)

But then it took a couple of parties, an exchange of Facebook messages, an unfortunate number of Awkward-Laura-Moments and three years for me to work up the courage to ask him to coffee (more like I reached the end of my rope with this crazy fangirl-like infatuation).

I was always aware that he wasn’t interested in me- not romantically anyway- but I was so tightly ensconced in the grip of that crush, I couldn’t get over him without some sort of closure. Luckily, this guy was actually a pretty decent fellow and he agreed to meet up. We talked for about an hour, swapping stories about studying abroad and music recommendations and then we parted and by the end of that day — I was pretty effectively over him. Mostly because I was able to finally accept that he was not interested in me and I deserved a guy who would pursue me, who thought I was amazing and funny and beautiful. 

My one regret through that entire experience? All of the heartache and questions I could have saved myself (and my best friends) if I had simply approached him and asked him to coffee that first semester I noticed him. I’m certainly glad that I finally did something about it, and I can still pull some valuable life lessons from the entire experience but if I could go back, I would have walked right up to him that first (okay, maybe the second) day of class and said, “Hi, my name is Laura. Wanna go grab coffee sometime?”

Hindsight, man. It’ll get you every time.

“My father said that love at first sight should send you running, if you know what’s good for you. It’s your dark pieces having instant recognition with their dark pieces, he says. You’re an idiot if you think it means you’ve met your soul mate. So I was an idiot.”

Deb Caletti (Stay)