Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Alone again, unnaturally

Any self-assured adult will tell you that it is rather quite enjoyable being by oneself. Although I am far from being this self-assured adult that I speak of, I, too, enjoy being alone. *I hear the ticking of the clock/I'm lying here, the room's pitch dark ...*

(Show of hands: Who continued singing?)

I didn't always like being alone, but I suppose that was because I was young and afraid (now I'm old and afraid, but with age comes the art of pretending to be what we are not). The first time I had to live away from home was back in med school. I admit (with much shame) that I shed a few telenovela-like tears the first night, while quietly folding my underwear in the part of the rickety drawer assigned to me. My parents visited that weekend, and brought me a bag of Clover chips to heal the sadness. After they left, I sobbed in the bathroom, not so quietly that time.

Over the years, I have grown to like being alone more and more. You might say that I don't have much choice, what with being single and all, but I'd like to think this is one of the happy discoveries during my partner-less phase (phase, life, whatever). I like shopping without being disturbed or pressured, I like eating without having to rush, I like driving with a light car, I like flying without constantly looking for my travel-mates, I like the idea of being quiet without being judged.

This year, to change the usual birthday routine and get some distance between me and my beloved computer, I decided to spend a good part of my birthday alone. My finances did not allow me to spend a full weekend somewhere far (truth: I was too lazy to book a ticket) so the next best thing was to check in at a nearby hotel and put my newly acquired privilege card to good use. More on the history of that card later.

Recipe for a good birthday afternoon

I loved that day. After breakfast and lunch (which were just 2 hours apart, I realize now) with family, I started my birthday solitude. I spent the whole afternoon at the almost-empty hotel lounge (apparently, I was the only one in the mood to drink at 3 pm). I had a thick book and a coupon for free drinks – what else could I have asked for? Free peanuts (you thought that was a rhetorical question?)! And I got those too. I don't remember the last time I felt that peaceful and relaxed and satisfied with life. Like I said, I loved that day. (Except maybe for the part when I had to use all of my willpower to walk like a sober person back to the hotel room.)

Of course the next best thing to being contentedly alone is spending time with people who really want to be with you and vice versa. I got that too when Juancho and Martina invaded my once-quiet, once-clean hotel room the next day. Not that I minded. What's a birthday without a little chaos?

Chaos in the best gift tag ever


Nicolo Del Castillo said...

Being by alone is such a luxury. I treasure those moments as well. Happy Birthday, Eng. :)

orange said...

'Luxury' is the best way to describe it. Thanks, Nic!