When I was out with John last night, we got to talking about past relationships. He was in a relationship with a woman for 9 years. The first 4 were on and off -- she'd want to date someone else for a while, and then she'd come back to him. Then, in the 4th or 5th year, it was like there was a switch or something -- all of a sudden she was content to be with him, didn't leave him or cheat on him anymore, and they were happy together. Then, 8 years into the relationship, they moved into an apartment together in New York and things went downhill. They found they just couldn't live together. After 9 months they mutually agreed that things weren't working. They went on their separate ways.
John talked about being alone for the year after that. That's when he really got interested in music and started picking up guitar. He'd go to work, come home, play guitar for five hours, sleep, and then start it all again. He also became more introspective during that time and started really taking a good look at himself, at what motivates him, at what drives him, at all of his behaviors and root causes for those behaviors. All in all, it sounds like it was a real growing experience for him, and he came out the other end a stronger person. Changed for the better. I don't know what he was like before, but I like who he is now.
Brian, also, seems to have changed and grown tremendously through this last year without Jaimie. The more I talk to him these days, the more impressed I am. An amazing man.
Alone time -- "not a bad thing". It can provide such space and impetus for change, for self-improvement.
Why, then, is it so hard for me to be alone for even a few weeks? Why do I feel that, instead of growing for the better, I'm sliding backwards? I'm becoming more self-involved, treating friends less well, pushing people away. I'm carving out more room for myself within my own life, but then I just use that room to sit around and mope.