About 18 years ago I first heard this song called “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay. I remember hearing it in a club, in Atlantic City, high af, and you could say it came into my life at a time when I questioned the exact title to the song. At that point I had had enough of living in NJ, not knowing who my friends really were, and I didn’t feel like there was anything left there for me. In some ways, I felt like I was better off alone. So I chose to be alone, and I left the East coast for good.
I moved to Seattle in July of 2000. I was barely 24 and I wasn’t there more than twenty five minutes when my friend picked me up from the airport, got me stoned, and played a version of Better Off Alone I had never heard before. I remember being driven back to his parents house slightly nauseated from the night before and incredibly inspired knowing that I made the right decision in life because that song found a way to follow me to my new place. I might have thrown up in the toilet downstairs the fist day I moved to Seattle, but I was fucking ready for my next adventure, and for the time being, I was better off alone.
I lived the next 18 months of my life impulsively, purposefully, and spiritually. I came to the point where I fell in love for the first time again, and I experienced all these emotions and drug fueled responses to the idea that maybe, I wasn’t better off alone and perhaps having someone in my life to love and to trust was becoming a better option. I found someone who would listen, and someone who would talk to me, unafraid of becoming too exposed to the hard truth of being honest.
For one reason or another that time didn’t last forever, and as I was packing up my Mitsubishi Eclipse on a warm rainy day in March of 2002, I again thought to myself, I know I made the right decision. Perhaps I AM better off alone, and I knew I was. It was the only way for me to protect my heart and my feelings and not allow them to be broken or distorted again. I got really good at just moving on in life and only relying on myself and being ok being alone. In some ways I am really proud of that independence, but in other ways, it made me so jaded and lovesick for years that it’s hard to see how it did me any good.
Years would go by and I would move to southern California and I would forget all about this song. I would get so wrapped up in the idea of living in Hollywood and pursuing my dream that I wouldn’t have time to question it, reflect on it, or even think about the fact that maybe I was wrong. Was I better off alone? I didn’t really care at that point because I was surrounded by other people doing the same thing.
It’s such an empowering and extremely lonely thought at the same time. Am I better off alone? I don’t know. The parameters of deciding whether or not I was have changed so many times in my life. Now it had been 7 years since I heard that song and one drunken night in the summer of 2008 I started listening to electronic music again and thinking back to those times almost a decade ago. I needed a reason for every action, a cause to fight for, and I questioned everything in life as I wondered, Am I?
Now it’s 2017, and life has reached it’s point on the circle where it becomes full like the moon. Here I am again in the living room of my apartment in North Seattle, questioning the answers and provoking my thoughts yet again.
Am I better off alone?
That’s the question right? For years it has been Yes, then No, then Yes again, but I can assure you that I have felt nothing but the epitome of aloneness these last few months and it fucking sucks. I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of being so far away from my friends and my family. Sure, it’s been wonderful to have experienced all the things in life I have had the chance to experience, but for the first time in 17 years I’m thinking that no, I am NOT better off alone. I want someone to share these experiences with. I desire the familiarity of a place I know like the back of my hand and as much as I love the Pacific Northwest…it ain’t gonna happen here. I’m not better off this way, and finally I know now that it’s time to come home.
I will always love this song, no matter what remix I hear. I will always remember how instrumental the lyrics are for me even though they haven’t changed. They remind where I’ve been, and where I came from. They remind me to always take stock in the fact that even though I’m independent, I still have the desire and the need to have people around me to love and keep me inspired.
This song gave me the mindset and the strength it took to leave New Jersey in 2000, and the wisdom and knowledge to know that it’s time to return in 2017. I can’t think of a better example of life coming full circle than that.
Do you think you’re better off alone?