Too Alone?

Lately, I enjoy my own company more than I enjoy other peoples’. I like being on my own.

Less than a week ago, I moved into my own apartment. For the first time, I don’t have roommates. And I like that.

I’m pretty self-sufficient. I take care of my car with little help from others (I don’t mind paying someone to change my oil once in a while). I manage my own finances. I pay my own bills. I have my own tools, and I repair my own stuff (like the bookshelf I put together yesterday). I don’t ask for help, and often reject it when it’s offered (I’m not saying that’s a good thing).

I have a secure future. In one more year, I’ll have my MA, and in another five have my Ph.D.

But this is the part that bothers me. President Ezra Taft Benson once cautioned the single sisters of the church to “not to become so independent and self-reliant that you decide marriage isn’t worth it and you can do just as well on your own.”

I haven’t decided that marriage “isn’t worth it,” but in the same address, Pres. Benson says “Place yourselves in a position to meet worthy men.” I used to love singles’ activities, but now even ward prayer seems tedious. And then I start to wonder if I can do just as well on my own. And that’s where I have a problem.

Because I start thinking about what life on my own would be like. And usually, I like the thought. Because of things like toilet seats. Every time I see a toilet seat up and the contents not flushed, I think Man, it would be nice not to have to deal with this. I don’t want to be a naggy, picky female, but I also don’t want the toilet seat left up. I know it’s not a big deal, but it bothers me every time. And if always lived alone, it wouldn't have to bother me anymore.

But I’m torn, because I also believe in the doctrine of family and of motherhood. I want to be a mother, and that’s more important than toilet seats. I often get so caught up in the trivial, that I forget the rest. I think that’s part of why I have trouble with relationships.

Chan said that when you are in a relationship, you don’t leave people alone. You don’t just walk away. But here’s the thing: I do. I walk away every time, especially when it gets hard. Back when Chan wasn’t sure whether or not he was going to work for the English department, he asked my opinion. And ya know what? I avoided the question. Did it matter? Probably not. Chan can make his own decisions, but I think it shows something about me: that I’m scared, that I still don’t trust people, even when I thought I had leaped over that hurdle. But here’s what I’ve learned: there are more hurdles. Some of them are the same, but I have to jump every time they come around, not just the first time.

Sis. Morgan wrote on the blog that she didn’t know anyone who had too many friends. This is true, but sometimes I wonder if unconsciously I think, I have enough, and I stop investing the time it takes to make new ones. I mean real, lasting, honest ones. Not just the friends you talk to in the hallway waiting for Sunday School to start. Because the real ones take work and vulnerability and trust. But it’s easier to dwell on toilet seats and just walk away.


Chan said...

Sarachel, I'm always surprised at how much you perceive but don't indicate that you perceive. (There has to be a better way to say that, and I suppose I've spent the last five years of my life studying how to say things better, but I can't think of a better way. So.)

I don't have any pithy advice, but I know the feeling of wrestling with deep-rooted, seemingly intractable hang-ups.

Sarachel said...

Thanks, Chan. It's okay you don't have any pithy advice. It's nice to get a response just the same.