Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Flying Solo

Hotel de la Paix, Laos, 2011
Will is setting off on a work ski trip tonight and will be out of town for three nights.

Yesterday, he asked me, "You going to be okay while I'm gone?" I suppose I've been a little needy of late. I blame the hormones.

The truth is, I adore spending time on my own. I am exceedingly good at it (to the point of occasional hermit-like behavior.)

Over the years I've been lucky enough to travel independently on a number of occasions.

It began when I was about 21, and spent a summer working in Paris during college. Outside of the law firm where I interned, I knew not a soul in the city. As soon as I got out of work, I'd walk until it began to get dark, sometimes stopping at a cafe for dinner and a glass of wine. On the weekends, I'd take myself to Chartres, or Versailles, or the Rodin Museum, and happily pass 48 hours without speaking to a soul (except to order my cafe cremes and buy my train tickets.) I developed plenty of little by-myself rituals that I've maintained a decade later.

In more recent years, pinch-me-is-this-real work assignments have taken me to Paris, Budapest, Laos, and various parts of California on my own, and I always look forward to it. I usually take myself out to a swanky lunch (or several), sleep diagonally on fancy hotel sheets, and laugh out loud at my own very absurd inner monologue. Then I watch CNN International or thumb through foreign fashion magazines and go to bed at like ten.

I think all of the above (well, except for the fancy hotel sheets bit) are life skills that will serve me well when I'm home with an infant. I've heard a rumor that they are not great conversationalists.

I'm also glad they're strategies I mastered in my 20s and early 30s. Of course, I have the capacity for feeling isolated as well. But more often that not, I really enjoy (and need) plenty of my own, uninterrupted company.

Having less of that open, quiet time is going to be an adjustment, for sure (and may be the root of some of my reluctance on the matter of attachment parenting.) So for now, I will be relishing it.

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