‘I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.”
When I moved out of home, I lived in a flat all by myself. I had lived in a 3-bedroom house with my parents, a sister and 2 brothers, and while I loved my family, I needed my own space and independence. In my own place, I could go out when I wanted, be responsible for myself and curl up on the couch at night, reading or watching the TV show I wanted to watch or listen to my music. I could also go out with whom I wanted without getting the third degree from well-minded parents.
It was not only my own space and privacy for which I was craving. Living and working in Geelong, I was always known as the daughter of mum and dad, and it was that to which I was often referred. I wanted to forge my own path and identity without being defined by my relationship to another person.
Then six months after I moved out of home, I started going out with MrBG and well, that whole single identity pretty much ended :). Well, sort of- as we were working together, we kept the relationship away from work and only a few people knew of our situation.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy coupledom, but the solitude of living alone did give me peace and I don’t mind my own company. I still love going out and catching up with people, but there is only so much I can handle before I need to retreat and recharge.
How do I get the solitude I occasionally crave now that I live with two excitable little people as well as a husband? I usually take it when I can, getting up early in the morning to tap away on the PC, and enjoying, rather enduring, the long commute to and from Melbourne for work. When it all becomes too much, I escape to my bedroom and lie on the bed in the dark, enjoying the brief respite.
Working outside the home has also has also been a huge contributor to my personal identity for so many years, especially since the little BGs came along. It was a way to connect and talk to grownups, to wear grownup clothes and be valued in a different way to just being mum or wife. I really admire and support those who give up their work to look after children, but it was something I could not do- my job is a part of who I am.
Last year I was introduced to someone as a writer. While at the time I was a bit disparaging of the title (‘Actually I just blog’), it gave me a buzz that people would know me, and like me, as a writer :). I still have no inclination about giving up my day job, or day/night job for that matter, but this blog has become a part of me, a room of my own, so to speak. And I thank Pete, the person who suggested it in the first place :).