One is NOT the Loneliest Number

If you're here after reading my post on Tiny Buddha, welcome! There's not much you need to know about me other than I'm an idealist but feel free to poke around.

This weekend I've been in New Hampshire to attend a wedding for some friends of mine. A few months ago I wrote a post about feeling at peace where I am, and this weekend has been the proof in the pudding. Normally when I attend a wedding I lament that I'm all by myself, that I don't have a boyfriend yet, blah, blah, blah. This weekend was the complete antithesis because even though I was on my own I didn't feel apart from, I felt a part of a group. I felt cloaked in kinship and oneness with those around me. So often we talk about "one" being the loneliest number but we also lionize being at one with nature, being at one with ourselves. It's become synonymous with peace and tranqulity. So maybe "one" is not such a bad number. 

I booked a hotel fairly far away from downtown not by choice but more through happenstance. I didn't rent a car but rather counted on the fact other people would shuttle me around, and they did. I felt so taken care of by those around me nothing seemed missing at all. At the wedding I sat at a table full of my friends so it didn't even occur to me I would need a date. Because I didn't. I was full of friendship and love.

Being dateless at a wedding has become tantamount to wearing white after Labor Day — it's something we're not "supposed" to do and yet so many of us do it anyway. I've noticed in U.S. culture we like to partner up and then move somewhere to start a family. Maybe this is a model based on the Wild West when in order to populate the nation people had to couple up and move far away. But that's not the case anymore. Now it's more beneficial to have a support system, which allows for people to live on their own because they don't have to rely on only one other person. What I've noticed is as I've sought to meet my needs in my community my desire for partnership has lessened. One doesn't feel like the lonelinest number because there are so many other people I can turn to. There are so many other options for help. There is so much love for me spread out all over the place that it doesn't need to be concentrated within one other person — it's been diluted in many.

I am very tired and very sick so I don't know how well my point is coming across, but in essence I'm finally understanding — and living — the idea being alone is not the horrible state I was making it out to be. It hasn't made me a pariah. It hasn't made me less of a person. I think it's mostly because I feel very loved and very included wherever I go, even if I'm all by myself. And I feel this way after a wedding, a time that I used to feel my single status most acutely. It's my wish that other people will come to the same realization I did.

I dream of a world where everyone feels loved, held, and whole. A world where everyone gets their needs met whether they're in a relationship or not. A world where we all feel a sense of community and kinship. A world where we understand one is not the lonelinest number after all.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.    


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