I took a job ten and a half hours and a time zone away in May. Telling my husband, employer, family, and friends was a whirlwind. Before I knew it I was in my car on my way to Northern Michigan. Alone.
I can honestly say I had never really been alone. I went from living with my parents and having them take care of me, to living with my roommates and soon-to-be husband who all took care of me (#ittakesavillage), to living with my husband. I didn’t know what being alone would mean for me.
But I do now. Now I can say I know what it means to be on my own, in a place where I don’t know anyone or where anything is. Now I can say I can do it, I can survive in the unknown. Not only that, but I can thrive. I found myself quickly adjusting to life in Northern Michigan. I had my lunch spot, where the short woman with the short hair knew my order after just going there a handful of times. She was there my first time, and told me all about the restaurant, what was good, what wasn’t her favorite. She quickly became a comforting face. I had a place I went when I needed to chill out. I knew the place I could hide my keys and shoes so no one could see them, and I could roam the beach barefoot. I found my local comfort creatures, the most important of which being Target. I got to know my colleagues as me, Samm. I got to be myself. Not the daughter, the wife, or the friend, just me. I was able to define myself, and be my own person, a luxury I’d never had the opportunity to enjoy.
Being alone is a beautiful thing, especially if it’s temporary. (Which, for the record, it always is.) I quite enjoy being married, having a home, and a dog that I’m responsible for. But I also enjoyed being off and alone. It gave me a renewed sense of confidence. In some odd way, it made me whole. I’m more secure in my marriage because I now know I don’t need my husband. I want my husband, but I most certainly do not need him. I do not need all my things. I want all my things, but I don’t need them.
I must say, it’s quite the relief knowing that at the end of the day, if you have to be alone, you can be.