Life lessons

Things I do Alone

things i do alone

In my work as a psychologist, there have been several clients I’ve worked with who tell me about a fear of doing things in social settings on their own. Given I work with adolescents, I guess it’s not surprising. The developmental stage they are at means they tend to be egocentric and assume that people will look at their lonesome selves and make negative judgements about them. That said, there are several adults I meet in life who are quite similar. And until my mid-twenties, so was I to an extent.

Sure, when I was 21, I left home and flew to a brand new country where I knew no one, all by myself. Yes, I navigated the first day and weeks of university in a foreign country all by myself. It was daunting but doable. But there were other things I didn’t do by myself. I didn’t explore the city I’d moved to, alone. I didn’t check out cafes or shops alone {I was also tight on money with that bit!}. And then I found friends, got into a relationship and basically, had people to do most things with. Especially the relationship. When the relationship ended, and three out of the four friends I had then were in relationships themselves with limited time for us single people, I realised a few things. I had to take matters in my own hands.

I needed new friends. And also, I had to learn to enjoy my own company in spaces other than home.

I remember starting with the beach. I used to live a 10-minute drive from Cronulla and back then, would only go with my ex and every now and then, with a friend. The reason for choosing to live in the shire was it felt like home, but also, because of the access to the beach. One fine day I did decide to go on my own. And just like that, life changed. I realised no one gives a shit about you because they are too busy thinking about themselves and in their own worlds. Slowly, it became easier to push myself. Go to a café. Sit in the food court for lunch. Go to Meetup groups alone. Then came gigs {because turns out, even the new friends I made didn’t enjoy the same type of music}. Or the movies every now and then {I’m not a big movie-goer at the best of times}. Then holidays, a road trip and even overseas travels.

And it has all been fantastic.

I think about how many experiences I would’ve missed out on if I’d had to depend on someone to go with me or if I couldn’t be alone.

I wouldn’t have seen all the fantastic gigs I’ve seen since 2013.

I wouldn’t know the bliss that comes from losing yourself in a book at a café while sipping coffee or having lunch.

I wouldn’t be on first-name basis with café staff.

I wouldn’t have read for hours and hours and hours at the beach nor been able to soak up the sun.

I wouldn’t have the flexibility to do what I want, when I want.

I wouldn’t have written some of my short stories that were penned in cafés.

I wouldn’t have gone to Adelaide, Brisbane, the NSW South Coast, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, and Montenegro if I’d waited for someone to go with me. And consequently, wouldn’t have met any of the people I met through these encounters.

I wouldn’t have met some of the fantastic Aussie authors I’ve met had I waited for someone to accompany me.

I wouldn’t enjoy books and beers in bars {I totally want to make this into a thing!}

There is a lot to say about relationships and connections and yes, we all need them. But loving your own company is a world apart. Sure, mine originally came out of necessity. But, I’m so glad it did because I cherish it and value it so very much. I think it is now at the point where I need it. So even though I have good groups of friends, even when I’ve been dating someone, I still will take myself out to brunch or a coffee or a beer alone. I will wander through city streets or lie on the beach on my own. And gigs. Definitely, gigs.

So tell me, are there things you do alone outside of home?

And Books and Booze in Bars: Yay or Nay?

Do share!

***Linking with Leanne for the Lovin’ Life Linky***

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  • Cate@LifeBehindThePurpleDoor
    14 January 2021 at 5:27 pm

    I didn’t become comfortable with doing things on my own until almost forty, and even now I’m rarely by myself. I love going to the movies on my own, but it’s been years since I’ve done lunch alone. Maybe that’s something I should try this year!

    • Avada Kedavra
      22 January 2021 at 6:18 pm

      My situation was very similar to yours. I didn’t have many friends after graduation and moving to a different city for work so ended up going alone to restaurants and movies. I saw one of the Harry Potter movies alone as I couldn’t find anyone to accompany me. That gave me courage and I started shopping alone and going everywhere by myself.

      • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
        27 January 2021 at 7:28 pm

        Oh that’s pretty cool Ava – it does get easier once you do one thing. Also how much easier is shopping solo?! I hate shopping anyway so just going alone, getting it done in one hit is good!

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      27 January 2021 at 7:27 pm

      Definitely give it a go! I love my solo brunches just as much as I love it with friends.

  • Deborah Cook
    14 January 2021 at 6:13 pm

    I used to prefer to go to the movies alone and in my 20s went regularly and hated it when someone wanted to come along. As you know I’ve always been single and am pretty independent but I don’t often dine out alone in my home town (etc) but do on holidays. I think it’s probably something I should do more and I liked your post about reading in a pub.

    When I went to Italy a couple of years ago I got a lot of comments about how ‘brave’ I was travelling alone and I found that to be really weird. I guess when I worked overseas I travelled alone but perhaps it’s less common to see a 50yr old doing it than a 30yr old? I’m not sure.

    Denyse just left a comment on my post today about the fact I could be doing ‘more’ and there’s a weird sense that I shouldn’t be out and about too much as I have other priorities. But I don’t in reality, so perhaps I’ll do ‘more’. (Alone of course!)
    Deborah Cook recently posted…A holiday or a break from oneself?My Profile

  • Laurie
    15 January 2021 at 7:40 am

    You were brave to fly off to a new country by yourself when you were 21! I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do that. I am more comfortable now doing things on my own, which is a good thing. I vote “yea” for Beers and Books in Bars. I hope you totally make it a thing!
    Laurie recently posted…It’s All Good: Love, Light, and PizzaMy Profile

  • Joanne+Tracey
    15 January 2021 at 8:45 am

    I’m happy travelling on my own, visiting cafes, restaurants, bars on my own, doing tours and whatever on my own. In fact, I relish these times alone and I’ll talk to anyone in these settings. But social settings? Conferences, parties and the like? I’m shocking and revert to that ego centric teenager who is convinced that no one will be interested in me, that I’m short, fat, and boring.

  • Denyse
    16 January 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Taking myself out just about every day, whether I stop for a coffee or not (thanks COVID) is a way of re-booting myself. I need the solitude. I love my husband and we are great companions but for me to process much I have been going through rather than “talk it out all the time” I like to ponder and perhaps write.

    Being comfortable to do this has been a go-to for most of the last 10 years but moreso when we moved away from the familiar in Sydney and I needed to find new places.

    I love this…as long as it serves us well.

    Denyse recently posted…Scenes From Nighttime. #SundayStills. 6/2021.My Profile

  • Avada Kedavra
    22 January 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Please delete the duplicate comments. I tried to leave a comment from my phone and looks like it got posted multiple times.

  • January 2021 Reflections – Sanch Writes
    1 February 2021 at 9:36 am

    […] but I also managed to get in a couple of posts on a new writing routine and talking about the things I do alone and enjoying my own […]