"I have to find someone to go with me. I don't want to go alone."
I can't tell you how many times I would say the above sentence years ago. For such a long time I wouldn't dare do much of anything alone. Whether it was shopping, going out to eat, seeing a movie, etc. I had to have someone with me.
There are many negative stigmas in the world and for some reason doing things solo is one of them. Maybe this ties into the stigma of being single too, idk.
Anyway, It wasn't until a few years ago I was noticing more and more that I was missing out on things I really wanted to do all because I had nobody to go with me.
I decided one day that it wasn't fair to me to miss out on things I enjoyed out of fear of doing them alone. That same week I signed up for a class at Painting With a Twist and went by myself...gasp.
I'll admit, I was a bit nervous and actually uncomfortable at first. I got to the class only to walk in and see a group of girl friends there enjoying it together. Of course, it would have been nice to have friends with me too, but I had had enough of putting my life on hold due to other peoples availability or lack of interest in things I was interested in.
I truly enjoyed the class and had a great conversation with the ladies next to me. I had to have a picture with my masterpiece and asked another classmate to take it for me and I left the class feeling liberated. *I still have that painting hanging up in my place*
It was in that moment that I realized that I was more than capable of doing activities by myself AND enjoying them. Since then, I've gone out to eat alone, to see movies alone, farmers markets, art exhibits and much more. It's almost hard for me to believe I was once scared to do that.
It took me a really long time to get over that "fear" because for some reason as a society we view people who are alone as lonely or we pity them. Let me tell you, I've truly enjoyed my alone time at many of the things I've gone to.
One of my favorite things to do alone is go to different coffee shops to write. I have had some of the best conversations with strangers and would miss that opportunity if I was always with people I know. I also LOVE my Saturday mornings at the farmers market.
By societal norms, activities such as eating out, seeing a movie, taking an art class are viewed as social activities to be enjoyed with others. Which they are, but you can absolutely enjoy them on your own and shouldn't feel bad about it.
Honestly, the time spent alone has helped me grow in ways I never thought possible. It's shown me that I actually have a lot more courage than I thought.
I am lucky enough now to have friends who share a lot of the same interest as me, so finding people to go to plays, musicals, etc with isn't as much of a challenge.
However, I know I am capable of going alone if need be and it's a great feeling.
Unfortunately, society almost conditions us to rely on others so much that we often times forget to focus on ourselves and how capable we are of doing things with or without someone else.
My advice for anyone who may be scared to do things alone..just go for it. Start of small and go from there. Go grab coffee at a local shop and hangout for a bit. Go get ice cream and people watch. You'll be amazed at how much you observe and take in.