"It's amazing living alone. I'm very luckey. It's like a refuge." Paloma Faith
Living alone has taught me skills that I doubt I would have ever learned had I remained married or sought out a boyfriend. I've lived alone now for over ten years, twelve to be exact.
When my husband and I first divorced, I wondered how I was ever going to be able to live by myself and do all the things I enjoyed doing. I wondered if I would ever be able to sit and watch TV in the evenings by myself (turns out I discovered I didn't like TV that much), or if I would ever be able to go out to eat by myself (this as it turns out was pretty easy for me). I seem to enjoy all the things I used to do with him, but much more.
In the first few years of my singledom, in my 40s, I tried online dating and going out with friends trying to meet a companion, all pretty disastrous.
Finally, in about year 8 I realized something: I liked being alone. I liked it for a lot of reasons. I could sleep in as late as I wanted on the weekends, and at first, when I was still teaching and driving and working quite a bit my weekends were for sleeping. I enjoyed the rest. I needed the rest.
I realized that if I wanted to stay up late and read a book - the whole book, there was no reason why I shouldn't do that. It was great. I have spent entire Sunday's cozy in my easy chair, reading with my cat by my side.
If I want to skip a meal, I do. If I want to get up early and go out for coffee and breakfast with friends, I do. And if I want to hop in my car at 11 o'clock at night and get Taco Bell (not often, not often) I can.
It is the freedom that I have learned to appreciate. I enjoy spending time with my sons and their families. I enjoy going to visit my youngest son on the West Coast without having to worry if a husband or significant other wants to be doing something other than sitting and visiting.
Being single has taught me that I like my own company. Yes, there are times when I would like a companion, but it is so infrequently that I know it would be unfair to that person.
Being single and living alone has taught me to sit with my thoughts. It has taught me the joys of contemplation.
Perhaps it is not for everyone, but for me these are the best years of my life.