I have heard this a million times and still hear it – “You are stuck!”. Why do people say this? It is because I am a single woman with a dog, and, I cancel out on a lot of plans. I believe many would be able to relate to this. But what people do not understand is, I am not stuck. This is the life I have chosen for myself and I am enjoying it. Not just enjoying, but I am extremely comfortable as well.
I had a friend tell me, “you are missing out on it”. This was when the clubs had opened and I had an invite for a Halloween Party, and, I refused to go so that I could stay home with Junior. What I do not understand is, what am I missing out on? Meeting random people and sharing unnecessary information or drinking with people whose company I barely enjoy or just click pictures and share it on social media to show the world that I have a pretty amazing life? Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-social and neither am I an introvert. I have just learnt that my peace is more important than anything else. I socialize; but only with friends and family that I enjoy with. I share my life only with the ones I am comfortable with. I spend my money only on things that give me happiness in return.
But every time I cancel a plan, 99% of the time people tell me “I am stuck”. My priority is Junior, and, under no circumstances I will ever compromise on his food or walk timings. People feel that just because I have to feed Junior at a particular time, I cannot come out and I am stuck with him. They also feel that just because I have to wake up early to walk Junior, I cannot stay out late for any parties and I am stuck. NO! This is my life. Junior is my son and I am extremely happy living the way I am living. I choose to be at home in my pajamas, messy hair, cook a meal, watching some series or paint and Junior by my side, rather than going out clubbing or dinners where I have to fake laugh and be around people. This is not something I have to do; it’s something I choose to do.
When I was dating someone, I did the same. We would go out once a week, but on all other days, we would cook dinner together, eat, laugh, drink and have fun while Junior would sleep next to us. For me, this is called spending quality time.
When I was young, or let’s say, when I was in college, I would hate being home. All day long, I would just be roaming outside going for lunches or bowling, movies, clubbing or just chill at a friend’s place. I have done it all. But as I grew older and matured with time and circumstances, I found more peace in being by myself and my dogs.
And by all means, this also doesn’t mean that I am not in touch with people. Of course I am in touch with all my friends and family members. Every now and then I will text and call my friends, ask them their whereabouts, share my routine with them, meet up family members occasionally, go for holidays with cousins and friends, etc. Moreover, it’s where my energy takes me. I do not force myself for the sake of being in touch or being social to go out.
During the lockdown, I had seen and heard so many people getting anxious or depressed only because they couldn’t go out. Honestly, nothing wrong with people who enjoy going out every now and then. But the lockdown, didn’t make any difference to me. I got to spend so much time with Junior, cook different dishes and excelled in different forms and styles of painting. It’s not that I do not feel lonely ever. But feeling lonely at home is much better than feeling alone in a crowd.
I actually do things that I enjoy. I am more productive. When I meet people occasionally, I enjoy their company more. I feel independent. I don’t have the burden to constantly keep people happy. I don’t look for validation. I enjoy the serenity of silence. I feel completely relaxed. I enjoy Junior’s company to the fullest and I relish my Tea in my pajamas. I am not a loner. I just refuse to waste my energy and money on anything that doesn’t bring me happiness and peace.
But, the world is so quick to judge. People believe or rather assume, without taking into consideration the facts, I am stuck at home because of Junior. They never understand that dogs ask for nothing. They never keep us stuck. Infact, the amount of love and comfort they give us is unbelievable. Infact, Junior’s meal and walk timings are fixed as per my schedule. So how do people judge that Junior has held me back! Many even say, I will not get a husband because I have a dog. Who will accept me with a dog? While I know this isn’t true and there are load of men who are dog lovers as well; if there is even an ounce of truth in that statement, then I am happier alone than be with someone who does not appreciate my dog.
One harsh truth I would like to share with you all. All these people who have told me that I am stuck or who are in a hurry to give up my dog for adoption and just get me married to any random person just because I am aging, are the ones who left my side when I was going through a tough time. My friend had told me once, “Never leave or compromise on your priorities for someone or to keep them happy, because when it is their turn to come for you, they will turn their backs on you.” I stand by this and also have firsthand experience.
This lockdown showed me a lot of people’s true intentions and true faces. And I am glad for that. Now all the more I love spending time at home and with Junior and do not waste my energy, time and money on unnecessary people. Also, Junior is aging, and, I want to make his old age as comfortable as possible and want to spend maximum time with him. I only want to spend time with people who understands me and who never take offense if do not call them or meet them regularly because they know it is nothing personal. It is just who I am!
I am single. Don’t pity me. I am not lonely. I choose to live like this. Because I have seen it all. I am done. Done settling, done dating shitty men, done relying on relatives, done supporting friends who turned out to be snakes. Because now I know what I deserve. What I want. I can wait, but not compromise on Junior and my peace. And NO, I AM NOT STUCK!