This year has been very important in my life. I have been very successful in improving my living situation, my health, my relationships, and I am also finding more productive ways to spend my extra time. I don’t think this would be possible if I was dating someone. For the moment, I am grateful to be on my own. However, the freedoms of being single can be dangerous and toxic sometimes. I was not always this productive or responsible with my time. I used to go out a lot, party, drink heavily, and spend my money recklessly. I had a great time and it may have even been necessary to go to that extreme in order to shake off my previous relationship. That one was a doozy! Eventually, though, that got old and the shallowness of the party scene became very clear.
The fact is, I am not that young anymore. Drinking myself into oblivion is cause for painful hangovers and days of recovery. I also think about consequences and people’s feelings while I’m drinking. I’m an adult now. My younger days saw their share of debauchery and I don’t feel that I left any stones unturned in the partying department (I don’t know if you’ve ever partied in Isla Vista, but I have!).
So, it’s the weekend and I don’t want to drink. What now? The question seems simple. I mean, anyone can think of a thousand things to do sober on a weekend, right? I couldn’t. For so many years my weekends consisted of bars, pub crawls, clubs, house parties, and several other locations for drunken adventures. Casual hookups, public intoxication, the occasional vandalism, and even driving with a buzz were the norm. I could hold my liquor and felt I knew my limits. The weekends were a blast, but they were also a fantasy created in an alcoholic haze. Nothing was genuine, no matter how much we swore it was. Strangers sharing moments that felt special turned into an embarrassing memory the following morning.
What now? Was I supposed to find a good girl to settle down with and stay at home? My parents would have loved that! I, however, am not that type of guy. At least not yet. The world is so large and interesting! I have hopes of seeing more of it. First, I had some repair work to do. This work is on-going and perhaps always will be. I was at a point in my life where I felt broken. I wasn’t firing on all cylinders, as much as it may have seemed I was. I had to reconnect to my faith, my family, my friends, and more importantly to myself.
Time alone is very important. We get tied up in a lot of the bullshit around us to the point where we are no longer doing anything for us, but instead to uphold the image of us. This is why I think being single can be an advantage (if your mind is right, that is). Outside of work, nothing is mandatory in my life. My weekends are entirely my own. I plan them however I want and go wherever I please. I give myself the liberty to cancel my plans and change them as often as I feel like it and nobody gives me any grief. In the past few months I have been to Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Ventura, Santa Monica, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. I have also discovered a lot of interesting things to do in my own city of San Diego. I have dedicated more time to my endurance training and completed the world’s toughest half-marathon (Santa Barbara Pier to Peak). I learned to sail, cleaned my garage, read a few books, and am re-learning French. I have also been getting a lot more sleep and am no longer regularly late to work. I feel that the time I’ve had to reflect on my life and focus on improving myself has been a blessing.
I have tried to encourage my single peers to be more productive with their time. A few of them have embraced the idea, but others are still burning the candle at both ends and searching for that special someone that will take all their troubles away. Life’s journeys are very personal and I understand that we are all different. In the meantime, I will continue on my own and keep working on bettering myself by ridding myself of the unnecessary.