“Women have minds and souls as well as just hearts, and they’ve got ambition and talent as well as just beauty. And I’m sick of people saying love is all a woman is fit for. I’m sick of it- but I’m so lonely”
A very famous Little Women quote that would have struck a chord with me always but did even more so mid-quarantine.
I was raised by a strong independent woman to be a strong independent woman. Even in my serial monogamist phase I maintained pretty aggressive independence for reasons my therapist loves to talk extensively about.
When I got into the food and beverage industry it felt a lot like getting into a relationship. I had no idea what I was doing but knew I was deeply in love. I was willing to work whatever hours on whatever days until whenever because I was infatuated with everything about restaurants. As I progressed in my career so did my love and so did people’s confusion. No one could understand why a college educated and fiercely independent woman would choose to be a server. The best way I knew to answer was to explain my restaurant as my hobby, my passion, my career, my boyfriend, and my pet.
That is why when it was taken away from me and I was put into quarantine without my hobby, my passion, my career, my boyfriend, and my pet; I felt for the first time truly lonely and truly inadequate. Pre-quarantine my single, solo studio living life was something I celebrated and broadcast as an achievement and something to be proud of because I was gaining so much fulfillment from my career.
I would always say I don’t need a boyfriend because I have my restaurant. I go on a million dates a week through the guests I serve, I have a million experiences through the always colorful coworker conversations, I get to be immersed and charged through food and beverage and service. But now, without it, and without a boyfriend I truly feel I have nothing.
Quarantine life feels a bit like Little Woman life. With so many of life’s distractions removed a hyper focus has been placed on relationships. One by one each sister gets married and moves out into their new life and the last sister is left to dive into what she considers her hobby, her passion, her career, her boyfriend, and her pet. So she writes a book and turns out it’s a really good book.
So I’m left here thinking I should either get married or dive into my restaurant in some creative way that doesn’t include working in it. But I’m tired and I’m sad that those are my choices. I’m sad that this state of quarantine has made me even think of those as my choices.
Similarly with falling in love with restaurants, quarantine from my restaurant has felt like a very hard breakup. I go through waves of ‘oh my god I’m free to live my life’ and then ‘I’ll die if I can’t have it back.’ I have urges to move on, find something better and then deep rooted cravings to go back and let it grow stronger through the hard time.
As a self proclaimed single woman quarantine life has left me truly alone for the first time. For the first time in my life I’m legitimately thinking, ‘I could just get married and then I’d have that.’