On Solitude

One of my closest pals is fine with her solitude.

She has eschewed intimacy, choosing instead the freedom that comes with being alone.

I have lived with that model myself, trying to find comfort in living a solitary life while locating intimate moments here and there.

Problem is that the glove never quite fit the hand. I manufactured stories and collected evidence to add gravitas to the narrative of living solo. But for me, solitude never quite meshed with my heart.

Makes me wonder about folks who lose their lifelong loves to death. How do they cope?

I don’t find couplehood an artifice: it fits my sensibilities. My soul. And I am grateful that I share with my partner the same viewpoints, the same needs and the same appetites. And if I lacked that connection, I would prefer to be solo rather than an unhappy companion.

It takes some moxie to court the right fit, to kiss a few frogs on the journey.

Knowing that what is authentic for me is the shared life buoys me, lifts my heart. How fortunate am I.


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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