|Living in Edmonton I was often lonely and thought about co-habituating or near-habituating. Usually I imagined living in the same building as some friends or sharing a place with family or close friends. Well for 7 months I have been co-habituating and let me tell you there is something to be said for loneliness…hahahaha. It is not that I have hated my living arrangements; I have learned a lot and have really enjoyed a lot of my time these last 7 months. Having said this, I do miss my own space, the quite calm and the ability to live in my own rhythm (and walk around naked :P ). I liked being with my sister and nephew and now with family friends but when you are used to doing your own thing without having to worry about others, it can be quite a change. I think this whole experience has taught me to be more patience. Also to really decide what it is I want as far as co-habitation in concerned. This came to me today as I took my friend Darlene’s dog to see her in the hospital. The whole time I was with William (the dog) I did not feel alone. I began to realize that what I want is to have a family, no matter what that looks like. For years I wanted a family with someone I knew but that is not going to happen so maybe I need to let go of the traditional family idea and build my family however it comes. This does not mean that I don’t want to meet a great man get married and have a baby (or two) it just means that maybe that is not what is in store for me and so I should be more open to what else family could mean or look like. I know most of what I have written here seems like an odd statement for a woman with 9 tattoos who has lived her life in a non-conventional manner. But I never said I was not a contraction. And many times I have said and even tattooed it on me that I have a Victorian heart, this means that my heart is romantic and old fashion. I wonder what will happen with this for I said to Darlene just yesterday that I am aware that I have been alone way too long and that has made we way too independent, maybe I don’t know how to be in a family anymore. As I watch the cat that lives here, Daisy, come to me for affection since Darlene her mom is not here I think about this cat’s limit for loneliness and her ability to get what she needs from me. I wish I knew how to do that. It seems like such an easy concept to know what you need and know who to ask to get that need filled. I don’t think that I am good at that. I remember reading about this study in one of my psych classes about some babies, from an orphanage, in an experiment where they were put in 2 groups that first group was cuddled, held and talked to. The second group was left alone only getting attention when they were fed or changed but even this interaction was limited. The first group blossomed, in the second group none of the children lived passed the age of two. They literally died of loneliness. I wonder how many adults suffer, this extreme loneliness, but learn to cope (in one way or another) or do we end up losing the ability to relate to, live with or function in close human relationships? Could it be that a part of us die of loneliness and we just continue to live accepting that our most basic human need of closeness with other people will not be a part of our lives? I cannot speak for others but another thing I have learned this last 7 months is that I do feel more comfortable when I am alone, just because I am used to that however if I met a great man, I would work really hard to develop a new normal that would include this person and whomever we may bring into that life because as much as I understand isolation I know I want to have a life that has more than just me in it.