I make it a habit to watch something go. Especially when I don't want it to. Maybe it was an overindulgence of rom-coms as a child but it was well-ingrained in me that the thing I looked back at should always be staring back at me. Like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. When you love something (set it free but) stare at it until it comes back to you. Right?
Living alone makes me a woman of ritual. Every morning, as I'm leaving for work, I bid my apartment farewell. Turning around, my tea thermos sloshing about, I say "Goodbye house. I miss you already." I take a moment to take stock of what I have. Of the warm tea in my hand. Of the heaviness in my heart.
Another ritual I've adopted takes places on Sunday evenings. While the weather outside borders on frightful, I fill my cast iron pot with shallots and garlic, rosemary, carrots, potatoes... building something hearty. Chicken stock, for the soul. It's enough food to last at least a week of mason jar lunches at school or warm dinners.
I am not always a religious person but there's something holy about routine. There's something holy about knowing where you will be and who you will be with. Having a semblance of how the day should go.
A plan combats loneliness. Turning around to stare at your apartment as it watches you walk away combats loneliness. Listening to Glen Hansard tunes as you get ready for work in the morning combats loneliness. Listening to Rosie Thomas will make you feel lonelier.
But you aren't lonely. You just had to let things go, in order to realize all that you have--without someone else there. Just had to take stock of everything, exactly as it is now. Because tomorrow it could all change but you will still be the girl who waves goodbye to her apartment and turns around to see who's taking stock as she walks away.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.