I think I may be a quirkyalone.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I needed a new word for single. A few days later, the Universe in the form of Amazon shipped me a book by Sasha Cagen called, “Quirkyalone; a Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics“.
Now, clearly I had ordered this book at some time in the distant past. Distant enough that I’d forgotten about it. Fortunately, Amazon has a better filing system than my brain and the book had emerged off of the backorder pile and found it’s way to my mailbox.
Cagen says, “Quirkyalones are people who enjoy being single (but are not opposed to being in a relationship) and prefer being single to dating for the sake of being in a relationship. Fundamentally, quirkyalone isn’t so much about being alone as it is about connection: with yourself and others. It’s about liberating yourself from the expected road maps to discover your own. It’s about developing comfort with aloneness and recognizing that comfort is crucial to being with someone else.”
At first, I thought “aha!”, I am a quirkyalone. This newish, emergent me fits the description to a “q”. I am self-reflective, I believe that life can be prosperous and great with or without a mate, I create and maintain chosen families as friends, I’d rather be alone than be in a relationship where I have to hold back an essential part of myself, I’m not opposed to dating but prefer not to date for social convention and I’ve had a glimpse of a great love relationship and am open to the possibility of finding a similar experience. Hallmarks of a quirkyalone, according to Cohen.
Oh, and my talent for deconstructing love songs is definitely equal only to my vulnerability to them!
But, as I kept reading about quirkyaloneness, and the related quirkytogether and quirckyslut, I started to think “but, wait, isn’t everyone like this?” And, then, more dangerously, “Wait, shouldn’t everyone be like this?”
Doesn’t everyone like long walks by themselves? Sit on the beach and reflect? Prefer being alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong reasons? Go the movies alone? Enjoy an evening at home alone? Fit the description above?
As usual, it was my chosen sister S. who grounded me and brought me back to reality. No, everyone is not like that. Really, I said? Yes, she said. Which is totally okay. Agreed.
I think that the reason I headed off down that line of thinking is that the description of quirkyalone just seems like a healthier version of me. A version where I celebrate solitude rather than struggle with loneliness. Where I set free the creativity of my quirkiness, rather than stifle it with the expectations of this culture. Where I am proud of the “I am” rather than shameful of the “I should be”.
I supposed next time I’m asked if I’m single, I could say “I’m a quirkyalone”. But that seems a bit, well, overly-quirky. I think I’ll just say “yes” and let it go at that.
I’m think I’m a quirkyalone. And I am just fine with that.