This is something Laura and I believed in and actually did well “together.” To be our own individual selves before God and then to join each other in travel and laughter and the mundane chores of daily living.
These days I probably am not practicing the “be alone” very well simply because I’m still trying to process the shock of her sudden death. I still wake up in the middle of the night and expect to see her sleeping silhouette as I pass by her doorway or to awaken to the smell of coffee she’s just brewed in the mornings.
There’s a difference between the practice of “be alone” versus “am alone.” The first is intentional with the goal of entering back into someone’s space refreshed and present. The latter is often forced upon you without your permission and you have to figure out how to push through. Oftentimes you have to remind yourself you must interact with other human beings if you’re going to heal and thrive in the life you’ve been handed.
I didn’t ask for the life I now find myself in, what Sheryl Sandberg refers to as “option b.” I’m trying to figure out what my option b is going to look like from what activities I will immerse myself in to who I will choose to spend time with to what my life’s work will fully entail.
I have no desire to fill my life with meaningless activity just to stay distracted, but for now there are a lot of moments I give myself permission to do just that simply because it is the only way I can cope.