Alone Can Look Pretty But Not Always

I don’t know what made me want to listen to The Backstreet Boys the other night, but I’m sitting here listening to them again. One album in particular. Their Never Gone album. I’m in such disbelief that it came out in 2005, but this album is by far my favorite album of theirs. Maybe I should listen to their newer albums to make more of a definitive statement, but this album is one I have come back to on many occasions. It puts me in a great headspace, a great mood; everything about it is love. Every time I start listening to it, I can sing along with every song. Today is no different.

There’s something about the song “Poster Girl” that has always drawn me to it. I think it’s because it’s about this imperfect person, and that’s all of us to some degree. I love the idea of some woman becoming so much a part of the world her attitude rubs off on it. Granted, she shoplifts in the song, and I don’t condone that, but I have always enjoyed the fact she is this free spirit. She lives her life in a manner that she knows tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. My favorite line in the entire song is, “She could make alone look pretty.” I think this is because we are all so painfully scared to be alone.

This lyric put me in a state the other night. A condition I did not indeed on being in and left me feeling so weird after I wrote this piece. To the point that I sent it to two friends who liked it but said it felt like two different pieces. And going back over it, there are just two parts that I’m like, okay, you could go to another post. So I’m sitting here on a Sunday, reworking this because I felt like this piece was not complete in my soul. I knew it the other night. There was a part of me that wanted to brush it off and insist I was merely tired, but no. However, I’d be lying if I said this piece is about the Backstreet Boys entirely anymore. It’s not even close.

Being alone is a weird concept. Often, we think alone is ideal, but all we want and yearn for is others’ interaction when we get that time. Yes, I need time to sit by myself and write. During my alone time, I typically enjoy myself. During that time, I do not like being interrupted. I think we all need that time, and others should respect it around us. If nothing else, I have learned that even having multiple phone calls during this time can drive me crazy when I am in a zone. I might need to turn off my phone, notifying my FitBit telling me someone is calling if this keeps up. Funny coming from someone who is talking about how ending up alone scares her, isn’t it? I digress.

I’ve always felt like there is this balance, but I know from losing my mother that nothing about that kind of alone is pretty. During the other type of alone time, I had panic attacks. I did not get out of bed, and when I did get out of bed, I walked the not so long walk down the hall to lay on the couch. I didn’t wash my hair. I didn’t brush my teeth. I barely wanted to change clothes at all. I did not care about anything. So no. That alone does not look pretty. It’s a FAR cry from pretty. It’s the gross, ugly sobs we do not want others to see. Thinking of that kind of alone time again scares the shit out of me.

So no. I do not want to think about that. And I knew by confronting what occurred to my dad that I had to face these feelings that are choosing to come out now, in this manner. I think it shows that sometimes your mind does not let you process things and truly does protect you until it knows you will be okay by writing it all out. Yes, I will talk about it in more detail on my podcast. For now, I think the closest thing is talking about how his blood sugar has dropped at night lately about how I feel about losing him. I cannot stand the thought. I do not want to endure that kind of alone again. No one wants to endure that kind of alone ever, but I know it’s inevitable.

The thoughts I told my therapist have leaked out into this post. They have burst through like the damn Kool-Aid man demanding I talk about it, except I’m saying, “OH NO!” I like my wall. It’s a gorgeous wall, but it’s important to let down our hair like Rapunzel and understand that sometimes we have to throw down our hair. In my case, I chopped it off. The other day, I told her that I did not want to work through my feelings involving my dad because it makes me think of his mortality. I hate thinking of his mortality. When thinking about it, I wish vampires were real, and I could get one to bite him so he could live forever. I feel this is a relatively simple request. So if vampires are real, I’d love to hear from you.

And it’s not as easy as to stop thinking about it. I wish there were a humanity switch sometimes; I could cut off and stop worrying about these things, namely because I don’t want it to be on my mind. But the thoughts linger. They aren’t always there, but lately, when they arrive, I feel like I’m Montresor, and I’m slowly putting my feelings in place one brick at a time. I think in many ways that also speaks to letting them out, too—one brick at a time. Instead of putting up the wall, you swing that sledgehammer until that crack in the foundation crumbles to reveal you managed to get through it after all.

Crumbling is good. Pieces falling to the ground is good because they lead us to the outside world again. By letting out feelings, we gain a sense of freedom even within our thoughts we believed would plague us forever. This isn’t because the thoughts don’t come back at times, but because once the wall comes down, we are more prepared to handle them and more equipped to understand them and know they cannot hurt us anymore.

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