26 March 2015

Dreamer's World March 26 2015 - Adult Life As An Only Child

I have written about my life as an adult without the benefit of having an extended family such as brothers and/or sisters. I am amazed at how few bloggers have covered this subject. Perhaps it is because only children are so few. Perhaps it is because no one has thought that they had anything to say. I don’t know the answer to why it hasn’t been written about until now, but here is my perception.
Most of my friends have brothers and sisters who remain part of their lives. Some good, some bad, but they have the bond that growing up together provides. I am not one of those people. There is no one that I can reach out to as a family member in that way. There is no one else who grew up with me in the same house, experienced the same things that I can bond with.
When I was younger, I honestly let this affect me in adverse ways. I thought that my somewhat solitary nature was because no one liked me until I realized that I had been solitary to some degree for my entire life. There was nothing wrong with me, I was just not used to a life that was cluttered with the affairs of other people. This annoyed me, I wondered why my phone didn’t ring occasionally with someone who just wanted to talk. Then I realized that i was only trying to fill a void that existed, a void that I was only aware of now because I had never noticed it before.
After some inner reflection, I realized that there was absolutely nothing that I could ever do to change the circumstances. I was never going to have that type of bond with anyone, and the only choices I had were despair or moving on with my life. Fortunately, I chose the latter path and have become comfortable with who I am. There are times when I envy people who have the extended family to reach out to, and now I find that there are almost as many times when I am glad that I don’t have that in my life. When I was going through the phase of feeling sorry for myself, I would be sad. Then I saw that sometimes the relationships that I lacked were not always the best things to have. I was free from any emotional anchors that could weigh me down and I chose to enjoy that freedom and treat it as a gift rather than a curse.
Some days are tougher than others, but that is true for everyone regardless of their circumstances. Blaming my bad days on being alone was not getting me anywhere. Realizing that I was my own best friend was something of a revelation to me, but a positive one.
I am grateful to my parents, if not for siblings, then at least for the lessons that they taught me as I grew up. I can see now how well they actually prepared me for life on my own. I am not a cold person once you get to know me, but I have often been referred to as frigid by those who do not know me well. When my parents died, there were few tears. I had always been taught that they wouldn’t be around forever. I was emotionally prepared to move on without them. I think that this is the greatest gift that any parent can give to their child/children. The knowledge that I can get through whatever life throws at me on my own is intensely comforting. There are times when I wish that I could reach out to someone, but I never dwell on that for long because I know that there is no one there for me like that.