I forgot about how quiet things gets when you’re alone. When driving, there aren’t DJ requests coming from the backseat, so I have kept the radio on low or off completely. The house is soundless, except for the furnace ticking on or slowly shutting down. For a bit, I thought about filling the silence with noise, streaming music or putting on a movie. But instead I have let the silence be blanketing, and I tiptoe around, letting myself be uncomfortable in it. My mind, inevitably, turns to Nick and Aurelia and how lost I feel without their presence, or the baby’s foot kicking out my right side and how unprepared I feel about its pending arrival; I think about how much my family is my life. All of which is endearing and bleak, depending on your point-of-view.
Yes, my family is my life, to an extent. My daily routine is almost completely dependent on their needs. Even the 8.5 hours I spend at work are technically for the well-being of our cohort. Not having them around has felt like I am missing a limb, but having that weight be gone has been liberating. It feels nice to be self-interested, to ask myself the question and give myself the answer, even if it takes me hours to decide. However, I picked and then made people with whom I want to spend my time with. No matter how crazy-making having a family can be, it is a choice I have made and will always continue to choose.
I must say, being alone is important and healthy, especially when you never are. These days have been refreshing, these moments alone revitalizing. I also recognize I say that with a lot of privilege. I hope I can return the favor to Nick, or anyone - really, some day.
To end 2016, I had one glass of Martinelli's apple cider, read a few chapters, put on Love Actually and listened to Jenny incessantly bark at the fireworks more extroverted people were setting off in celebration of the coming New Year.
I officially rang in 2017 at 1:30AM via turning off the running credits and taking my first of many overnight pregnancy pees. Don’t be jealous. I have made no resolutions and have zero expectations for the New Year. I simply hope that all the change that comes is met with care and patience, love and understanding, wine and sushi.