I died after living more of my life with you than I lived with just myself.” Jenny Slate, Little Weirds

We all live with this tiny little clock that ticks beside us. It ticks with every heartbeat. It measures the life we spend on our own and the life we spend in the company of others.

I think deep down inside, we all want to live most of our lives in the company of someone rather than alone. It may be this little clock and the ever fluctuating percentage of life spent alone that pushes us to rush into unhealthy relationships, like why my neighbor screams hysterically and sobs every morning in her same abusive mire, or why our timelines oppose logic. We feel an urgency with each passing tick, in our youth. Ideas, machinations and strategies to lessen our alone percentage reign. The finish time that determines the proportions, our time of death, is unknown to us all.

Why is it that we feel there is something wrong with a larger portion of our lives spent on our own? We can argue that man and woman were not created to be alone, but even if that is the case, it doesn’t help change our reality. Sometimes, we are alone, and that’s all there is to it.

As time passes, each person living on his/her own gets dangerously closer to having lived more of life with just him/herself. And as I look around, I am not so sure that’s a bad thing. We confuse someone’s company for being loved. One would hope that one keeps company with someone who cherishes them in return, but I think Dolly Alderton makes a good point in favor of love being something that needs no company:

“I stretched out diagonally in my bed, across the cool sheet. I was completely alone, but I never felt safer. It wasn’t the bricks around me that I’d somehow managed to rent or the roof over my head that I was most grateful for. It was the home I now carried on my back like a snail. The sense that I was finally in responsible and loving hands. Love was there in an empty bed.” Everything I Know About Love

I don’t think this game of mathematics is about people filling up a portion of our lives and us stacking up that percentage of time against everything else. I truly think it’s about the weight of those proportions. Time alone and time with company can weigh the same if both are filled with love. The absence of external company never means the absence of love, unless you have forgotten yourself.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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