Yesterday at the Tate Modern, it hit me when I was quietly looking and almost gently engaging in Gerhard Richter's Transformed Visions, that I have become more and more alone as I have got older. It made me think about what loneliness is and what being alone is. It scared but, also calmed me somewhat. I realised that I have a lot of people I call friends but no real friends (maybe by what the world defines friendship by). Does that make sense?
What I think I mean is that I have slowly cocooned myself away from having meaningful girl friendships over the years. I've thrown myself body and soul into raising our girl (whose company by the way I adore...well mostly!), being the main bread winner and living in an almost virtual reality through social media and most of all being nostalgic and living on snap shots of my beautiful girl friends lives from University days and before I left South Africa to the day yesterday (19/2/1996)seventeen years ago.
It was eery and weird thinking about who I really am and what path my life has taken since I came to these shores. And how I have grown, changed, who I have morphed into and become. I usually keep these thoughts locked away and rarely give them freedom to roam any of my grey matter.
Don't get me wrong, I am not without friendly people in my daily life and I have wonderful work colleagues who have become friends, but whom I do not generally see outside of work and this is just fine by me. I have some wonderful women around my age who live in my street and we have "street conversations" and these are good but rarely go beyond these. I do meet up with Alice's art teacher J and some of her long term friends from time to time and it's good fun, but I don't really see them in-between these planned gatherings. And yet I am completely not lonely. In fact, I crave time on my own away from the hub bub and responsibilities of everyday life. I love to potter in my own company, reading, listening, making, doing, learning, observing and then returning back to the business of my daily life.
I think I have become beautifully alone and it hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. Whilst Alice continued onto the next gallery I allowed myself to come full circle with my thoughts and almost had to double check with myself that "Was I kidding/convincing myself that I'm not lonely?" just to make myself feel better? I feel like it's my life in reverse...when I was younger I got bored and really hated being alone and was the first to find and make friends wherever we lived or went on holiday to. I'm an extrovert at heart and love conversing with people, however as the years have rolled by my extrovert nature remains, I know I can just about have a conversation with anyone, yet I want to be more and more alone.
Strange realisation to come to in the middle of sipping on a bottle of water in an old London power station, but true.
Maybe, when life becomes less busy one day I'll have time and energy to invest into more meaningful girl-friendships. I wonder if this is selfish of me? Hmmmm something to think about.
How about you?
Do you like your own company?
Or do you prefer to be in company?
Do tell, I like these kinds of conversations.
See you all soon
ps. I like to think of blogging pals as company too, and have had the pleasure of meeting up with a couple of great bloggers over the last couple of years. Thanks to all those who visit this blog, I do so appreciate the time you take to chat to me and I do try and to pop into your blogging worlds too.