Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Monday
Jan232006

Mood: Content

It's an oversized socks and sweatshirt day here in the city. The sky is as gray as the inside of Max's lips. And I am happy here inside my lamplit, comfy apartment on the life raft that is my bed. Happy is an elusive bugger.. but I stumbled into her early this month and we've been pals ever since.

It struck me like the anvil that mistakenly BLAMS! the coyote on the head when he's engineering some disingenuous scam to nab the roadrunner; I have a great life. Better than I ever imagined when I was young. There was this one time when I was a little girl, maybe nine or ten, when I was so lonely, when I wanted to be a grown up so badly.

My mom was angry at me for some reason. Probably because I didn't do the dishes when it was my turn. Maybe I got into her makeup. I was grounded so often I don't recall why. But I had decided I was running away from home.
"And NEVER coming back!"
I slammed the front door closed with a resounding BANG! I was walking fast, determinedly headed for nowhere in particular.

Being ten, without anywhere or anybody to run to, I hightailed my then narrow backside to the only other familiar building in my life. My elementary school. I sat dejectedly on the swing set, bemoaning my unfortunate fate of being born in THE WORST FAMILY EVER, when a wild wind whipped up dust devils, sending tiny particles into my eyes.

I looked around, deciding the only place I could take refuge was underneath the stairs leading up to the trailer addition for first graders. There I sat, legs drawn up to my chest, chin resting atop my bony knees. But what I remember most was the stark realization that I was wholly alone. Not in dramatic, I'm nine and I'm in trouble with my mom way. But a very realistic picture of the way life really is, developed in my head. There isn't a single person I could call right now if I needed help, I thought. I need to learn how to take care of myself, I decided, so I don't have to rely on anyone.

That mantra lodged itself deep inside my brain for more than fifteen years. I detested asking for help. Hated to cry in front of my friends. It's just not me. I suck it in and move on at the behest of that ten year old who crawled under the stairs to stay safe from the storm.

But now, I realize I have an entire community of folks who love me! And I love them. I would do anything for them. Anything. I no longer feel alone in the crowd, as I so often did in my earlier twenties, mingling with twenty-somethings who had partying on the brain while I worried how to make next month's rent.

I feel like I can do anything, be anything I want to be. I have a beautiful, creative, passionate husband, a solid job that I'm good at, and I've fallen in love with writing all over again.

Reader Comments (8)

Hi Monica, welcome to the "ARG" Alone Recovery Group. You have taken the first step to recovery...admitting you feel alone in the world. Glad to have you aboard, now sit back, relax and enjoy life one day at a time.

CChild
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercchild
You know, I've been feeling the same lately. After a whole 'woe is me' phase, I'm finally able to be like "stop whining and make yourself happy". I'm actually content; it's pretty wonderful.
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B.
While I am on my way to this...slow baby steps I am making after having one hell of woe is me week last week.

I'm glad to hear things are good for you, Monica! :)
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
i'm glad you like writing, because we enjoy your writing.
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjoey kim
Glad you have fallen back in love with writing... it's hard to do it recreationally when you do it professionally... do you have a story on how you fell out of love?

I once had a prof who said "I don't like writing, I like having written"...
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
I must agree with Heather B, that is pretty wonderful. :-)
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLolaWants
I like being alone. However, I find that this is not often expected of me, even now that I am way, way old. Some kind of goily thing prevails which says I ought to make myself more goily friends to further various life options like career etc.
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Armstrong
"I no longer feel alone in the crowd, as I so often did in my earlier twenties, mingling with twenty-somethings who had partying on the brain while I worried how to make next month's rent."

That sentence hit me. I always wondered if everyone I went to college with just didn't give a care or if they drank to avoid reality. Either way, I always felt alone in the crowd. I didn't have a chance to check your blog until now. I was actually missing my morning fix. It always leaves me with something to think about.
January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

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