Saturday, 19 February 2011

The future life

I was going to embark on a review of my past life, but wasn't ready. Just now I'm preoccupied with the life to come.

In discussions with friends who have gone through what I will experience very soon, one common ambition they have, once all healed up, is to find someone to share their life with. It's a very noticeable thing. It doesn't seem to matter whether they plan to carry on with or revive an existing relationship, or plan to team up with someone they've already met and quite like, or intend to find that elusive perfect person who must be out there. Whatever the route to a shared life, the ambition to get one is almost universal. It seems to override every other possible ambition, such as getting a good job, or making a home.

Well I hope everyone who has that wish for companionship fulfills it somehow. Life lived alone, without backup, without another voice at home, without a face to see when you wake up, without a companion who is on your side, unconditionally, is a very hard thing. You are exposed, far more likely to fall victim, far more likely not to succeeed, so much less likely to get enjoyment from what you do. Eating alone, for instance: no matter how good the meal, how much better it can be with someone to talk to and occasionally treat. And is not a moment of laughter or delight a thousand times more intense if shared with someone special and very close?

I know all this. And so I wonder why I don't want what nearly everyone else wants. I want to go it alone.

But independence is an illusion. We are all interdependent. Besides, advancing old age will make me more and more reliant on helpers of all kinds.

I want absolute freedom to go where I want. My choice. No compromises. I feel confident enough to travel widely. But the world is narrowing, and in twenty years' time the extreme danger and inconvenience of flying will lock me into Fortress Northern Europe.

Still, I refuse to be glum. There is so much to know and study. If trips around the world are unaffordable or too risky or simply impossible, then I shall try trips within the mind, and extend my knowledge of history and the liberal arts. I'll just have to make sure that I don't degenerate into a kind of pretentious good-time girl.

3 comments:

  1. I love living alone. I am lucky to have family (children and grandchildren)and friends nearby and I work a couple of days a week so I have as much social interaction as I desire.
    But I always love returning to my empty house - my little solitarium.

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  2. I think most people desire companionship (like me), but not all. Certainly some thrive on their own. Statistics are about generalities, not individuals.

    It's possible that you will feel differently after you recover. And maybe someone will come into your life. Or maybe not, to both. We all want to be happy, and we have different ways of finding that.

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  3. Re: Still, I refuse to be glum. There is so much to know and study. If trips around the world are unaffordable or too risky or simply impossible, then I shall try trips within the mind, and extend my knowledge of history and the liberal arts.

    I can appreciate that, Lucy. I am a relatively solitary soul, who lives essentially between my own ears. I am far more lonely in a crowd, than by myself. Perhaps that's a result of having to defere personal desires, in favor of of others for so long.

    Melissa XX

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