I came to Perth to visit my sister, and they have had to go into isolation as a covidy household has developed with my nephew starting the chain and my brother in law succumbing this morning. While my sister was still negative, we did a socially distanced meal- less n95 catch up last night. It was nice to see them and it was reasonably well timed, as my sister feels like crap and although is still testing negative, I am pretty sure it will not be long before she tests the dreaded positive.
I have never gone away by myself. 47 years old and never done it. I was trying to think of a time that I did and I couldn’t. I have always gone with a friend or for work. I have never taken a holiday by myself, for myself.
I have been very aware of why and I thought I’d share. I was scared. Scared of being stared at, scared of being alone, scared of having to do things on my own. Partly that is because I am a very social person, but also because for many years, I hated me. I couldn’t stand being alone with me. I would be consumed by darkness, self deprecation and hatred that would ooze into the silence like thick honey dripping through a small hole. I thought that the noise of that sort of silence would be deafening to my soul. I thought I would probably die.
So I have avoided doing things on my own. If I can spend the day at home with the dogs I will.
The dogs and cats have been my security blanket for a long time. A way to be alone without being alone. And this is the first time I am alone for leisure, without the dogs and without a friend or family member.
I have had to brush guilt away most of all. Guilt of enjoying myself “without a purpose”, as if being with me and entertaining me is a sin. I was abused. To those who know me this is not a huge revelation, but my needs and emotions were bothersome and annoying and inconvenient.
The purpose of this weekend is just to please me. I wanted to see my sister, I wanted to go for a walk this morning and go to spotlight and the markets. I wanted to eat bircher muesli at a quaint little Café full of hippies. I want to take me out to dinner and see a comedy show.
I have been practising being gregarious all day. I have chatted to dog owners at cafes and commented on their dogs or told their dogs how good they are. I have said hi to people and watched them react to me with warmth and friendliness. No disgust that I am daring speak to them. Weird.
There is no cushion, there is no shock absorber when it’s just you. You are naked and fully visible for all to judge and view. It’s like being thin for the first time in 45 years. Fully visible. Nowhere to hide.
And it is okay.
I am truly okay. More than OK. I’m funny, and friendly, and maybe even pretty. (a little bit, at a stretch).
This is so new to me. Thrilling. A new lease on life. Free of self criticism and sarcasm. Grateful for my body that propelled me 8.5km around Fremantle today, seeing things, feeling things, tasting things.
Just being. I am so, so lucky.
Maybe it’s not the last time I will take Heidi out for the weekend.