GENERAL LIFE

Dare Yourself to Go Out Alone

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I wanted to go out for ice cream. Most of my friends don’t live close to me, so instead of trying to coordinate at place and time, I went alone and enjoyed a couple of scoops.

I recently read a post on Facebook from an acquaintance where she spoke candidly about the fear of going out alone.  As women, we often feel a sense of security to go somewhere with other people.  And when I say security, I’m not talking about safety, but rather the security of having friends around.  The movies, dinner and shopping are a few activities we usually want to do with a friend. I know what it’s like to want the comfort of others with you when you do these things.  After all, things are more enjoyable when shared with someone else right?

The first time I went to the movies alone, I was actually 11 years old.  I wanted to see a movie and truth be told, it was rated ‘R’ at the time.  So none of my friends would have been able to go anyway.  That was during the eighties and these days that same movie would be rated ‘PG’ by today’s standards.  Because I was tall, I looked older than I was, so when I walked up to the ticket booth to pay, I actually got in with no questions asked.  Elated, I found myself in a space where I could enjoy watching a film, without the interruptions of other people talking to me, making comments and distracting me from following the story.  It was an amazing experience.  What I learned that day, was that going out alone, really isn’t as bad as people think.  I know I was young, don’t judge, it was a different time, a lot of parents in 2018 would never let a child go alone to the theatres.

As the years went by, I did everything with my friends.  You know what it’s like ladies, we move in packs.  Even going to the ladies washroom is like an event where we all have to go together, even if you’re not feeling ‘nature’s call’, you just accompany your girls.  Once I was in my twenties, I found myself wanting to do things, like seeing a movie, and my friends and I couldn’t get our schedules together.  I’d wait and wait hoping we could go and then it wouldn’t happen. Before I knew it, the movie was no longer in the theatre.  It happened a number of times, then I just decided one day, I’m going alone.  Why am I waiting for others to see a movie when I could just go by myself?

So when I finally mustered up the courage to do what I did when I was an 11-year-old, I grabbed my purse and set off to the movies.  At first I felt nervous. Watching everyone coming in groups, as couples or with families.  I would look around nervously trying to make it look like I was waiting for someone. I guess that little insecurity was there.  After getting my ticket, I grabbed my seat, got comfortable and enjoyed the movie.  All alone.  I was happy I went.  No distractions.  I thought, “This is awesome.  Why didn’t I do this before?”

I’ve even done the same when wanting to go out to eat.  If I want to enjoy a meal somewhere, I don’t have to wait for someone to go.  So now, I do.  I’ve been doing it for years.  I’ve attended events, museums, galleries and more, all by myself.  I don’t need to wait for someone, to enjoy the things in life.  I think it’s important that we all take moments to enjoy doing the things we love without wanting the security of others.

Now, I’m not saying you should never go out with your friends, I’m simply saying that it’s okay to do things alone sometimes.  I love doing things with my friends. It’s great having the company and sharing our lives and laughter.  But, it’s also good to get to know yourself. One of the keys to self-love is to enjoy your own company and not rely on the security and acceptance of others.

Have you gone out alone before?  I’d love to hear about it.

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