I was--you know what, I'm not even going to share how old I was. Let's just say it was earlier than our society would find acceptable for children to be left home alone these days. But it was the 90s, I knew where the fire extinguishers and the first aid kit were, and could feed myself, so on spring break that year my parents decreed that I could stay home by myself. I never turned on the TV that week--I spent all that delicious sibling- and parent-free time writing. It's still in the top 10 best weeks of my life.
|This looks kind of nice, actually.|
Source: suphamongkhon arwatchanakarn
In my current life anthem, Next to Normal, Dan concludes the song "I've Been" by saying he could never be alone. But of course (spoiler alert!), by the end of the musical, he is alone, and the final song is the beginning of his journey to coping with his new reality. And my journey has begun, too, even during this interim time; I've grabbed books like Kate Bolick's Spinster (even though I'm not) to see how other people have walked the path of being alone. She does fascinating research on the women she calls her "awakeners," but it's this bit from her own life that has me captivated:
I could be alone again.It was with regret that I left behind my people in Austin, and I haven't started gathering my people again. I'm sure that's why the mere thought of facing the world by himself was so scary for Dan halfway through Next to Normal: he didn't have his people yet, or rather, he didn't know his people were already gathering, the people who he would interact with in the final minutes of the show.
And then, after the sadness had passed, I saw that I'd crossed into an entirely new country.
I wasn't alone again. My life was teeming with people.
I don't expect this time of transition to be the best thing ever or to chalk up a whole bunch of top-10 weeks right away. But that's okay. After all, the final line of Next to Normal is, "There will be light!"