Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Surviving Lonely, Series 4

You Want A Peace Of You?

In my Jan. 06 episode entitled “Call Me Placido” (click here to review), I received the following comment:

Mugen said...
Hope to follow your footsteps McVie, I'm one of those having troubles living a single life.

* * * * *

Dear Mugen,

I wouldn’t wish anyone to follow my footsteps, for your path is for you to tread and my path, mine. But maybe the following can be of help to you and all those having trouble living a single life.

Paradoxically it’s easiest and hardest at the start. Easiest because that’s when you’re at your gung-ho best, surest of your decision and still most optimistic that living a single life is the right thing for you at that point in time. Hardest because you’re at your most clueless, helpless and, when loneliness hits, it hits at its sharpest.

But think of it this way.

Reduced to its simplest form, a lover is someone who basically a time-filler, someone whom you’ll devote your time, effort and undivided attention to the detriment of other things or people who may also compete for your time. He is someone who will take up several hours away from the 24 that you have every day.

That your lover is an important and significant time-filler is undeniable. Therefore, one must find a worthy replacement to this important, significant time-filler.

Family is the first and most obvious group of people who come to mind. Friends are also a group deserving of your time and effort. Depending on your capacity for altruism, you can go beyond the people you personally know and embrace strangers. Devoting your time and talents to people in need can be a worthy endeavor.

Or why limit yourself to people? How about pandas, tarsiers and other species in danger of extinction? Or stray, abandoned dogs and cats? You can even focus your attention to causes; instead of things, you can embrace grand themes.

Cultivating your relationships with family, friends and falcons can be rewarding. But I think the most important person in this state of singleness is someone we most often forget to be best friends with: ourselves.

I believe that if we are best friends with ourselves, then the question “Who’s worthy enough to fill up my time?” will always have a ready answer. It’s not selfishness; it’s self-preservation at first and eventually, self-love.

(Insert the George Benton original or the Whitney Houston cover here.)

As time goes by, bouts of loneliness will sting less, linger less and occur less frequently. Plus you will learn how to cope better, find ways of distracting yourself.

And you will learn to be at peace with yourself.

In the end, I think that’s one of the best gifts one can give to others and to oneself: “Peace be with you… and me.”

(Now if you will ask me if I have achieved peace with myself, my honest answer is: far from it. But every day is a gift and an opportunity to work on me.)

7 comments:

Misterhubs said...

Amen

Julius said...

is this the reason why more and more people go to starbucks alone? or it just the crisis...

a cup of cappuccino (for me) is a good companion here in dubai.

joelmcvie said...

@JULIUS: Maybe it's the crisis. Too expensive to treat your friends to a Starbucks frappe, hahaha!

jamie da vinci! said...

i think sometimes, people are just afraid of being alone. after being accustomed to having someone, single hood can be quite overwhelming. the quiet alone can be too much to handle for some. i always tell myself however, being single does not mean i am also in isolation. just that i have more of me to take care of and eventually, more of me to share :)

polar bears (though endangered as well) can be pretty gregarious too you know! hehehehe.

joelmcvie said...

@JAMIE: Being single doesn't mean being in isolation is true. You can still surround yourself with other people, whether family, friends, officemates, whatever.

Everyone should learn how to deal with being alone, because whether your single or with someone (or someones, if your polygamous or a two-timer), there WILL be times when you find yourself alone with YOURSELF. And if you cannot be comfortable with yourself, lagot.

And if you get bored with yourself, you call on Natas'ya, Ling-Ling and Dexter!

peter penducker said...

bakit ba ang daming tao ang natatakot mapag-isa? isa ba yang makabagong dilemma ng panahon? o isa lamang simptoma ng lumalaking populasyon kung saan bawat isa sa atin ay nasanay na merong "kasiksikan", at kapag nawalan ng katabi ay bigla na lamang aalarma ang kalembang ng kalungkutan?

masarap mapag-isa sa kalagitnaan ng nakararami na may kani-kaniyang kasing-kasing (kasintahan o kabiyak ng puso). may mga maililistang kapakinabangan ito:

una: walang magbabawal sa iyong mag-yosi, mag-chongki, mag-aadok-adok o maglaslas ng pulso. ma-drama lamang yung merong pipigil sa iyo. "to die in peace is to die in one piece" ika nga sa isang american indie film na napanood ko na hindi ko maalala ang titulo. yun ang huling tinuran ng lalaki na naglaslas ng kanyang pulso dahil sa kalungkutan.

ikalawa: either makakatipid ka sa pananamit (pwede kang buong araw na mamayagpag sa sarili mong tahanan nang walang saplot dahil walang magpupuna sa yo); o pwede mong isuot ang kahit anong iyong naisin. still for the same reaosn that no one will be a nay-sayer to what you want to wear. pwede mong i-redefine ang konsepto ng "fasyon" kapag ika'y nag-iisa.

ikatlo: mas makikilala mo sarili mo. sa araw-araw na wala kang kasama't makakausap, sisimulan mo na ring kausapin ang natatanging taong natitira - ang sarili mo. pwede kang umimbento ng pansariling lenggwahe na ikaw lamang ang makakaintindi. pwede kang ka ring bumuo ng kahit anong uri ng scenario sa iyong pag-iisip, gumawa ng mga conspiracies at bumuo ng isang daigdig na tanging ikaw lamang ang may control. sa madaling salita, yan ang ang pinakamabuting paraan tungo sa pagiging praning.

marami pang mga kapakinabangang maaaring ilista kapag ang isang tao'y pinili ang pagiging mag-isa. at malamang, bawa't isa sa atin ay may kani-kaniyang pamamaraan din pagiging mag-isa. :-)

Anonymous said...

"whether your single or with someone (or someones, if your polygamous or a two-timer), there WILL be times when you find yourself alone with YOURSELF"

This is so true, i havent been so lonely since i have someones (you're right i have been two timing lately)in my life. I felt more alone now than at any other time and its scary.

I wish i can talk to you because i'm slowly loosing myself. I need help.

onil