Last night, in a surge of motivation (the root of which is still unidentified), I drafted a list of about 20 potential post ideas for BEDIM, in case I lose momentum later on in the month. Really, a very kind gesture from past me to future me. Today’s post, as lifted from the list, is as follows:
‘Doing shit solo and how empowering it feels’
Don’t let anyone tell you I’m not inspired.
As I’ve talked about before (in this post, to be specific), I’m a very independent person by nature. Always have been, haven’t yet been given a reason to not be. Sure, its probably been quite psychologically damaging, because the very idea of commitment and dependency on someone/something else for my happiness gives me the metaphorical shivers, but I’m learning to own it and my God is it empowering.
Doing shit solo, as I’ve so eloquently put it, makes you realise that the way you spend your time doesn’t have to be at all limiting and that the safety blanket of a social group isn’t essential to getting out and doing things. I recently saw La La Land at the cinema alone, and as much as I cringed my way through buying the ticket in front of a queue of couples, friends and families, the actual film-viewing experience was really enjoyable. I could form my own opinions without the pressure of making sure whoever I would have come with was having a good time, or that the film wasn’t a disappointment and we hadn’t wasted our money.
-For what it’s worth, I loved La La Land. If I hadn’t, I could just draw a line under it (or even better, leave the cinema whenever I wanted!), because when you do things alone, you live by your rules and your rules only.-
Eating alone was a milestone I was more anxious about. There’s a bit more stigma surrounding it – in a cinema, you’re under a shroud of darkness and the activity of watching a film doesn’t really require social interaction anyway. In a cafe, you’re in the middle of a buzz – everyone’s with someone and, for the most part, eating out is dressed up as a social occasion. But, surprise surprise, I had nothing to worry about – I took a book with me and enjoyed lunch at my own pace, and guess what? Nobody stared. Nobody gave me a funny look for being in a cafe alone. No-one cared!
That’s the thing. Nobody cares. The apprehension we have around doing things alone, I think, stems from a self-consciousness that everyone is silently judging or mocking you for not having friends or a partner to be doing these things with.
But why should we always depend on the support of others to be able to have a good time? Doing things alone is a whole different kind of experience that I can’t recommend enough. It’s a great celebration of self-sufficiency and, without meaning to sound too soul-searchy, a fab way to get in tune with yourself and work out how you do and don’t like spending your time. (and sometimes, it’s nice to just enjoy the ‘doing’ of socialising, without the need to hold up conversation. It’s relaxing!)
In the next fortnight I’m going to be going to a gig by myself, which I’m excited as well as incredibly nervous for. If anyone has any advice I’d really appreciate it!
Until next time,