A Girl’s Guide To Alone Time
When I told my friends that I went and grabbed a drink by myself at Happy Hour they were shocked. “Don’t you know how that looks?” they asked me. Many women think it looks like a move you pull when you’re trying to get laid, when really, maybe all I was trying to do was get a half-priced glass of Sangria and Buffalo Wings (don’t judge the pairing, it’s delicious.)
Independence is attractive. Having enough confidence to say “table for one” is beautiful, and frankly, quite difficult to acquire. TwentySomethings are generally surrounded by people, all. the. time. From roommates to classes, parties to multiple job hopping, mixers to double dates, in between it’s hard to find that sacred time of solitude. It’s often easier to stay surrounded than to forge out on your own, because being alone means there are decisions to make; what you want, sans your friends influencing opinions (God love them).
Do you order Chinese food every night because you’re craving the same Chow Mein you’ve been eating for the past week or because your roommate always gets it? Do you really want to see 27 Dresses AGAIN, or is there an Indie flick you’ve been dying to catch….? The truth is until you do things for yourself it’s terribly difficult to answer these questions because you’ve never asked yourself what YOU wanted before.
This is no simple process. Alone time scares many a confident person. Knowing where to find your fulfillment outside of friends is often hard to do. Friends fulfill me, sharing fulfills me, my family and the random dude who engaged in conversation over a beer pong table (sometimes) fulfills me. But, on some days being able to sit with a cup of tea, or take a walk with my Ipod fulfills me more than ANY OF those things.
Here are some suggestions for those of you who are looking to move forward into your lonesome with grace, excitement, and security. Trust me, after a while, you’ll learn to LOVE IT:
1. TAKE YOURSELF ON A DATE: Do everything you would do if Josh Hartnett were taking you out: you are your own Josh Harnett. Pick the restaurant, wear something that makes you feel beautiful, ORDER DESSERT, sit alone and if the restaurant isn’t too full ask if you can seat yourself where you’d like. Have some wine, people watch and eat without worrying that spinach is stuck in your teeth. Treat yourself.
2. READ: It’s really difficult to read when your roommates are trying to update you on their favorite One Tree Hill characters. Really difficult. Reading alone allows you to completely experience what moves you, inspires you, or makes you laugh out loud in public. Suggestions; Sark, Eckhart Tolle, The Audacity Of Hope: Barack Obama, Thirty Ways Of Looking At Hillary Clinton, and The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.
3. TAKE A CLASS: Whatever it is YOU are interested in, be it bellydancing, pottery making, learning how to speak French, yoga, spinning, glass-blowing. WHATEVER. Make the decision based on something you have been interested in but maybe have been to afraid to do. Without friends you can do it anonymously, you don’t have to be the best in the class, the strongest, the most creative–you just have to show up.
4. TAKE A TRIP: I know we don’t all have the means to do this. But if you plan something, a day trip or a weekend “retreat” if you will, for you and yourself to take a vacay…you may learn things about yourself you never knew. After all, everyone says you never really know someone until you A. Live with them or B. Travel with them. Find out if that’s true.
5. Say F*ck It: Many of our decisions are governed by other people, what we are afraid they’ll think or say. We’re afraid to disappoint or to not live up to a standard people have made for us. When you say, “F*ck it” YOU ARE YOUR OWN JUDGE.
When we start making decisions based on ourselves we often find that “alone time” becomes the best time. Take yourself out and tell us about your date…