Single Again.. Alone And By Myself

By Kenneth stepp


For you professional writers out there, I’m sorry about the title…But the title says what many of us feel. By myself is who I am when flying solo. Alone is a lifestyle, one I have found a way to get used to. The other, by myself, not so much.


My marriage was my life: an intact family, wife, kids, house, animals. It’s who I was. I’ve struggled with who I am since the split five years ago. The day I left was the first time in my life I felt alone. It was sobering. I found myself wrestling with who I was and what’s next. I felt like David staring at Goliath, and in my sling were absolutely zero smooth stones.


It’s while here that we stumble out of the gate like a racing horse on tequila. For a while, we aren’t concerned with our mistakes. It’s as if the morality that was part of our DNA, our default mode, had been put on pause and a whole other person took over. I’m not alone. This happens to so many, maybe most, of us.


I can remember my day of enlightenment. One day I was sitting in my kitchen, the sun had just risen over my back yard. All of a sudden I knew that I again wanted the depth that my life had had before. By now I knew I had to take myself back from this other person that had been living my life for me. Not only had he made a mess of me, but he hurt some others in the process. That was not my nature at all.


My old life, the one when I was in an intact family, was gone. The only hope I had to be my old self was to rebuild me and reinvent my values. Were they new values or a recreation of my old ones? More thought will go into this before I can answer that.


For myself, I have entered a new phase of my life. While I try to replicate what I once had, I know what is coming will be completely new. Not just me, but my forever will have gone through the same fire and become a new person again. I speak metaphorically, but I believe you understand my point. We all go through things and find we have changed.


“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” – Jimmy Dean


Do we simply feel the wind and adjust the sails? Or do we really drift off course until we find ourselves completely lost in a sea of strangers? That was my experience. I found that I had become a cheap imitation of something really valuable, like a shiny gold watch that is really gold plated and without any value at all.


The day I looked in the mirror and saw that guy looking back at me. Well, it was a God moment in my life. I remember talking into the mirror, “You’re better than this.” I vowed that day to work on myself, to practice self discovery, to be the best man I was capable of being.


My mind quickly flashed to the best man I’ve ever known: my dad. Dad was a boxer in the Navy, a man’s man, strong as an ox with testosterone seeping from every pore, an alpha male by any standard. But he was so much more. He was a dedicated father, a dear friend, and the kindest man I ever knew. He taught my big brothers and me the value of being a gentleman. He said when you have nothing to prove, you can be kind to everyone.


I’ve told this story to my close friends. I was eleven years old and my dad and I were travelling from Kentucky to West Virginia, his home state. He said son, see that bridge there? “Yes, I do, dad.” He told me, “I took one of the worst beating of my life on that bridge when I was young.”


My dad was my Superman. I was shocked! “What happened, Dad?”


“Well, it was this girl…” At that moment I could only picture a 60 foot tall fire breathing woman beat up my dad. “Son, she got mad and started beating on me.”


“Why didn’t you fight back, Dad?”


“A real man never hits a woman son.”


“Why didn’t you just leave, Dad?”


“Well, a real man never runs either, son.”


Now you see my role model. That’s my guy. That’s my dad. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss hearing his voice. My family tells me they hear his words fall out of my mouth often.


This journey takes its toll on all of us. Dating these days means we will face all forms of narcissism, sociopathic behavior, and levels of self-centeredness we could not have imagined a generation ago. I have looked at the path I must take and to me, it’s worth it all. Stand tall, be brave, but most of all, be you. Do not conform to a person you are not. After all… You’re awesome, just be yourself.


“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you.” Dr Seuss


  1. I can definitely relate to everything you’ve stated in this article, for me I’ll add another layer to the initial mixture of confusion. In my situation I add someone who has a bit of a handicap depending upon the situation I either utilize my quad cane to walk, if it’s not a long distance, or my wheelchair to roll. In my mind I kept telling myself that if the one whom I thought was my Bashert didn’t want me because of my physical challenges, that no other man could possibly see beyond them to be attracted to me either. I carried around the hurt and the shock of my pain and rejection for so long that I allowed it to begin defining who I thought I was. I have a lifelong friend from Elementary through high school who is a phenomenal man . It took an honest and open conversation with him along with me facing my totally irrational fears for me to lay down that burden and grow to the point that I’m at now. I’m ready to open up myself to the possibility for love again. I’ve realized that by holding onto all of that I’m not only hurting myself but am also hurting every man who comes into my life.

    • We all evolve, which is what you are saying. Our ideas evolve as well. As will our ideas of who we are. As you can see, I changed completely. I do not believe I am the same person at all. Or, maybe I’m my old real self. I will figure that out with more self discovery. I’m glad you had that friend to help enlighten you. For the right man, nothing will matter.

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