Spring has finally arrived in New York after quite a long wait. It can still be a bit nippy outside, but by and large, the leaves are on the trees, things are flowering, and the city isn’t so grey anymore. The outdoor tables are being set, the rooftop bars are opening, and the sun doesn’t set at 4:30 anymore.
Of course this also means the time that love blossoms, and all that other adorable crap. Believe me, I get it. I’m not in love and I want to be outside walking around. I want to be reading at a cafe, I want to lay out in Central Park, I want to stroll along the river. I can’t even imagine what that’d be like tinged with romance. Well, that’s a lie. I can imagine, I probably imagine it too much.
Whenever I see couples who are smitten with each other I’m always happy for them. It genuinely makes me smile goofily. It’s not a great look, but I love seeing it. I always used to be jealous too. Not jealous of a guy in particular, but jealous that they had someone. It’s quite a particular juxtaposition, happiness and envy. Nowadays though, that envy has pretty much disappeared. It’s kind of this oblong happiness now when I see a couple in love. I’m enamored with the idea of love, and that’s a really intoxicating thing when you see it all around you.
I wander, I explore, because I don’t want to be trapped inside waiting for someone to do things with. When I’m out, I see all these couples doing the things that couples do, but it doesn’t really bother me. I’m out by myself and it’s great, I do fun things, explore and I genuinely have a great time alone. In the back of my mind, I always make a note to come back and do this with a significant other, or I wonder how different it would be with someone. Somewhere along the way I don’t know what happened, but I got really comfortable with the idea of being alone. I stopped feeling lonely quite a long while ago, and I like doing most things by myself. I’d like to believe that I’m mostly self-sufficient, and I pride myself on not needing anyone. I used to think that was a universally good thing, but now I’m not so sure.
It’s easy to say that you have to love yourself before you can love someone else, that you have to be happy alone before you can be happy together, but at what point does that all become moot? At what point do you drive people away because you don’t understand how to bring them into your life? How do you need someone but not overwhelm them with your life at the same time? It’s easy to say ‘balance’, it’s easy to say ‘it depends on the person’, but at the end of the day, it’s a skill. It’s a skill that I have zero experience with, and it’s something where experience is the only true teacher. It’s a skill set that I’ve basically trained my entire adult life focusing on coping with the exact opposite. It’s this strange place where you’re satisfied and content with where you are emotionally, and you’ve worked hard to get here, but you know that you want more, and that the other part of it is something that will go against every instinct that you’ve ingrained into your head.
So, I don’t really know what to do, as per usual. I go looking for experiences, for some sort of incidental enlightenment, hoping that someone or something along the way will show me some piece of the puzzle which I hadn’t even thought of. But deep down I know that fortuitous happenstance won’t really happen, and that I have to accept that at this point I’m too set in my perpetual bachelorhood. I think for most people, you hit a median point in your life when you’re with someone longer than you’ve been single. For a lot of people, you see where than median is, but for me, if I’m really honest with myself, I don’t see that on the horizon, or even anywhere close to it. I’m not chasing that point, I’m just trying to figure out who would get me to that point, or even if I want ever reach it.
But, those are thoughts for autumn and winter. Summer is here, and it’s about time dammit.