Looking alone-ness straight in the eye

I accompanied my friend and her daughter to the park this evening. While they were at the rides, I walked to the other side of the park to jog.

It’s a Sunday night and the park was full. Everywhere you look, people are in groups or in pairs: families hanging out, kids running around, lovers occupying the benches, friends jogging and taking photos. Once in a while, you come across people walking or jogging alone.

At that moment, I was one of them but I didn’t care. I had my phone, my earphones. I jogged and walked until I got tired. I did get amused with the lights at the park and people watching while listening to dance music. These days were supposed to be busy ones for me. My old self would have been spinning from one task to another, wanting to get as much done within a short span of time. But that was me yesterday. Now, I can drop everything for a while and grab moments such as this just to have fun. And quietly, I prayed “Thank you,” for this moment and many others when I have finally learned to take care of myself.

I only became conscious that I was alone while I was waiting for my friend and her daughter. I roamed aimlessly for several minutes … well, not completely aimless since I was really looking for something to eat. But as I did, a strange feeling of alone-ness began cropping up. It was one of those very rare times when it scared me.

Anyway, I kept walking and decided to let myself feel that feeling for a while. And as I did, it began to melt away. And for some strange reason, I was more aware of what was going on around me and appreciative of everything. While buying mango from a lady at the park, I noticed how young she was and she was pregnant. She opened a can full of bills while she looked for coins for my change. Silently, I wished her well and admired that she seemed to be working hard for her family.

I sat by the fountain, happily chewing that mango I’ve been craving for for the past, uhm, several days. (And no, I’m not pregnant.) I watched a man who looked like he was in his 40s as he played with this colorful toy with a little bulb on top, which you shoot up above you and you watch it glide back to the ground. I had that toy too and wished I had brought it! The winds blew quite strong at times, and the toy would land far from its owner. And a few times, too, the winds sprayed water from the fountain to those of us standing or sitting near it. Some bystanders shrieked then just laughed.

My friend then called and I walked to meet them. We went home and had dinner.

After not posting for some time, I suddenly found the urge to write about tonight. Because I was truly grateful for those moments, for the companionship, for the capacity to face alone-ness and not run away from it. And the grace to see whatever blessings are already right in front of me. Here and now, it’s always full of surprises, and living in it lets you see something special and make this moment count. And it didn’t matter if people thought my life was incomplete. I had everything I needed. I got the life I asked for. And for now, I would not have it any other way.

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