pssst! i'm on TV tomorrow! watch our episode
for those of you who may know me well in real life, you know i'm an identical triplet.
be it as it may, it's a huge part of who i am. it's the reason i have problems sharing the cookie dough.
probably why i get such anxiety when driving in traffic. or anywhere in los angeles.
it's the culprit of my celebration of independence where i think it's a great achievement
to drive somewhere alone. literally. "such a feat!"
spencer has been gone for over a week now, and still has a week to go.
there have been plenty of times where we've traveled apart, but fortunately (for me)
it's usually me going on adventures and leaving the poor lad behind.
this time around, spencer left me to embark on an adventure in cambodia.
and for good reason. he's doing wonderful things.
but it challenged me in a new way.
you see, i grew up in a large family. one where there was lots of commotion.
lots of noise. lots of laughter. lots of activity. always something to do and see.
i had three older brothers who loved to tease me, and my triplet sisters who i literally
did not do a single thing without (there were lines in the bathroom in the morning, people...)
i grew up in what i call a state of "multiple syndrome," better described as a mindset
where everything is done in threes. or, groups/clusters/pairs/what-have-you...
they're just not done alone. you have three birthday cakes, not one.
because we're three people. filling you car up with gas is a social affair.
and why would i go to the grocery store or bank alone, when i have my sisters?
we went from sharing cribs to beds to cars to campus housing.
there never was a reason to be alone even if we wanted it.
which, consequently, we never did. because why would we?
we had each other. a "built in best friend." a girls dream, right?
even better so, we had the kind of friendship (as sisters) where you can be
straight up mean to each other. yelling, kicking, screaming, pulling hair -
embarrassing each other. making jokes about each other in front of cute boys
to make them laugh (that was my biggest problem growing up! how my sisters
over the years there have been times where i've been quite alone.
not in a bad way, of course - i'm mentally quite healthy as far as i can tell.
but in other ways - like i have a husband who works crazy hours...
many weeks up to 70-80 to be exact. and that can take its toll on any couple.
but i've built a tolerance to it. i've become strong. i keep myself busy.
but not immune. because despite how strong i may think i am,
or others might think i am - i feel like the same little girl who
couldn't even make a phone call without her sisters sitting next to her.
so, the paradox of solitude reveals itself again - how does one enjoy it?
i reach out to friends and ask, "what do you like about being alone?"
my best friend kate says, "i like that it makes me feel independent and strong.
i become super alert and observant, and all my senses are heightened."
in reply, i'm intrigued. i start thinking, and i realize - i'm the same way!
when i'm alone and walking the streets in public i become acutely aware
of how i'm walking. do i shuffle, or walk with confidence?
when i make eye contact with other people, do i look like a happy person?
maybe i should smile bigger and more obviously.
or maybe this whole independence thing doesn't suit me, haha.
they (whoever they are) say we need to hang out with ourselves to like ourself.
i mean, you gotta spend some time together ya know what i mean?
sometimes as a triplet growing up my identity was hard to pin.
i was... a triplet... and stuff. we did the same things.
half the time people didn't even bother learning our names,
we were that confusing as individuals we just became "the triplets" or "fly girl."
fly is our maiden name. not because we were trying to be cool, promise.
i didn't start finding myself until i broke away from that and
started venturing into the world on my own as "kylie" and not "triplet."
my travels are to thank for the confidence that i eventually developed over the years.
i've had time to set myself apart and evaluate who i am as a person.
you think you know yourself pretty well and you get comfortable,
and then life throws a curve ball at you and you're like, "SAY WHAAA?!"
there are so many dimensions to us as human beings.
sometimes i'm afraid of solitude for a number of reasons.
one - i've never really had to do it. and it's so...quiet.
two - i honestly just prefer the company of others. i talk a lot.
and three - too much "me time" = stuck in my own mind.
things can get weird fast, in there.
on the flip side, solitude inspires. it creates new ideas. it forces us to people watch.
which, let's be honest, i'm incredible at it by default from my dear mother ("kylie, stop staring!")
"...i can't help it. i liked her shoes! ..."
we get our best ideas when we observe the world around us.
and sometimes to do that, we have to be alone. the typical writer in the coffee shop,
tucked in the corner with his laptop and coffee steaming and maybe the crumbs
of a previously existing pastry now deep in his belly. he's observing, watching, writing.
waiting for inspiration to leap out of real life and onto the pages of his next big book.
or me, the photographer, who has an insessent urge to document. everything.
i'm going to come full circle now. knowing that spencer has been away
and replaced by my netflix que and the ever so reliable hulu+,
there are moments where i am straight up lonely. i listen to myself breathing.
i think about stuff deeply. and i start to get a little sad. i lay in bed with my pillows fluffed,
and stick one between my legs thinking maybe, just maybe, it'll trick me into thinking
spencer is here. and that's not to say i'm desperate without him.
or that i cling to him, or can't survive without my husband. because i can.
i'm a grown woman for gosh sakes. to be perfectly honest,
it's just because i love him - he's my best friend - and i really like having him around.
my sister megan said something sweet to me on the topic. she said,
"i hope you know that even when you're alone, you don't have to be lonely."
i like that. so now i'm ordering dominos pizza and having a party with myself.
i guess that evening jog is canceled out. #worthit