on being alone, or not

The other day, I was sitting alone in a Mexican restaurant and wondering whether it is possible to quit people, and good old Alan Carr came to mind. It’s maybe because I recently ended a relationship, and also have not been spending much time in my city, and my body has been experiencing very similar sensations as it did when I gave up cigarettes two years ago; it’s a physical ache that comes and goes, that’s almost painful, a sort of gaping emptiness, a void that needs to be filled. It often seems like the only way to cure myself of this craving is to give in – to return to him, to sleep with someone new… Not until you tear yourself from everyone you love does it appear that you are actually physically addicted to people. The longing for a person is almost identical to the longing for a smoke. It’s weird.

–Sheila Heti, from the Essay “Why Go Out?

This essay is fabulous and funny. I’ve been avoiding myself lately but surprisingly, when I’m forced to be alone, it’s not THAT bad. I don’t really agree with Heti overall, I think we are meant to be around people and I think that most people are better and happier when they are with people they like. If something is great, you want to share it–food tastes better when someone else agrees, movies are more fun when your cuddled up next to someone else, and sex, well, come on! It doesn’t even compare.

It is important to know how to be alone. I firmly believe that. And it seems to me that lots of people make a lot of mistakes for fear of being alone. But frankly, right now, I suck at it. And I’m ok with that.

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