For days I have tried writing, but instead sat staring at the blinking cursor lacking the inspiration, hoping that I could will the words churning in my head to flow and set some of my thoughts free. Maybe I am a more melancholy writer, maybe I am one where words flow freely when I am sad or stressed, which then becomes my inspiration.
It has been a few weeks since I moved out of my apartment. Staying with a friend has been challenging to say the least. I yearn for my space and alone time and I realized that I am actually someone who enjoys being on my own maybe what some call a loner. It is not to say that I don’t enjoy the company of my friend and it has been interesting to be able to cook up a fancy meal and share it with someone else, however, I have my moments that I want to sit on my own, read a book or write and my friend wants to chat. I find myself in a constant quandary as to how I should excuse myself and go find some solitude.
I have lived with a husband and boy friend and for a while I even had a roommate but never felt the overwhelming desire to go search for alone time. But maybe as I get older I need that quiet time to reflect on things or those people knew to give me my space and alone time. Having my own place also meant that I always had the option of retreating to the kitchen for some baking therapy. However, being in someone else’s space makes me more conscious about every move I make and therefore curtail my baking therapy to a great extent.
Just like my writing, I have been unable to find motivation for running too, which has always been my escape. I constantly lace on my shoes and step outside and a few miles around the neighborhood staring at houses or cars whizzing by makes me cut short my long run and head back to the house.
However, this morning I decided that I need to force myself to go run. So instead of running around my current neighborhood, I decided to drive towards my old apartment and go run my usual route.
It goes without saying that I am a creature of habit, I could have parked and run on any tree-lined street, but instead chose to start right in front of my old apartment. I hit play on my music and step on the sidewalk hoping that the lost motivation will come flooding back.
Mile after mile I keep going, enjoying the familiar territory, accepting that despite the excitement of moving away, I still miss the familiar sights. Knowing every crack or uneven sidewalk, the random mermaids scattered around, the familiar smells emanating from restaurants, makes me miss being there more than I thought I ever would.
I try to shut my mind off and keep going, focussing on the fact that in 2 weeks I have to run a half marathon which I am not ready for. Every year this particular race reminds me of how or why I started running, my first ever race and as always my ex who ran my very first half marathon with me.
I don’t want to think about him, I swear I’ll be fine for weeks but some days I just wake up with a heavy heart for no reason and I feel like I’ve been hurt and betrayed all over again.
It’s hard, because I think I have made all this progress only to see a familiar sight or someone who looks like him and it’s all ruined. It’s one little thing and bam I’m taken back in time. I have so many memories but I decide during this long run that it is time to compartmentalize my memories. The amazing memories need to be filed away and the reasons why we walked away need to be remembered.
But this long run is about trying to find my alone time, so I force my mind back to listening to the music and completely zone out. I want to forget my troubles or everyone around me and focus on one thing, and that one thing right now is running and suddenly I feel content and everything seems peaceful.
So even though the song says “One is the loneliest number”, at this moment in time, pounding the familiar sidewalks, I believe that one is definitely not always the loneliest number.