You've gotta get comfortable with yourself.
Written by Camille Marie Mola
Why does doing something alone seem like such a daunting, scary, borderline terrifying task? When we hear the word “alone,” words like “solitude” and “loneliness” come to mind. Could it be we’re afraid of our own company? Or are we afraid of what strangers will think of us when they see that we’re by ourselves? Even anxiety can play a huge part (been there!). And I get it – especially as a woman, it can be scary and sometimes ill-advised (especially if you’re my family) to do things alone. But there may not always be a friend, significant other, or whomever else around to hang out with – and that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t live your best life possible.
Myself and many of my friends have lived in new cities where we didn’t know many people – or anyone at all – and learned over time how to be comfortable going places alone. I remember asking a friend, who had moved to a new city without knowing anyone there, who she went to a concert with, within the first few weeks of having moved there. When she said she went by herself, I had to admire her; I could never do that (plot twist, I’ve now done that several times). But she inspired me to go on more adventures by myself.
Another friend of mine moved away to another city, where he didn’t know a soul. In the beginning of his move, we would text back and forth if he should go to a cafe alone to get lunch. After a while, I didn’t get those kind of texts anymore, because when he wasn’t meeting new people, he was enjoying his own company and having fun exploring his new city.
When I briefly lived in New York City for a summer in college, I barely knew anyone. While I did go out with friends and co-workers, I knew I would often be on my own. The first “big” alone thing I remember doing was seeing one of my favorite Broadway singers perform at a dinner cabaret in the city. I was heading home after work, when I passed by a sign advertising the show. The show was starting in one hour – I barely knew anyone in the city, let alone someone who would spend more than $20 to go to a concert with an hour notice. So I paid for a ticket, sat at a table by myself, ordered dinner, and had a fantastic night watching one of my favourite singers perform. It took me getting over my fear of being alone at a concert to realise how many things I might have been missing out on living in an incredible city. It felt like I had some sort of an epiphany – I could take control of my life, my happiness, my fun, all on my own terms. It was liberating.
Doing things by ourselves doesn’t have to be as terrifying as we make it out to be. And if you need more scientific proof as to why you should do things alone, check out this article from the Washington Post. As I’m typing this out at a cafe by myself, I’m reminded just how much I enjoy doing things on my own. So I challenge you to do something by yourself, whether it’s going out to dinner, a movie or going for a walk – you got this. Learn to love your company, because you’re a really awesome person to hang out with. And plus, you never know who you might meet or what opportunities may come your way! Have fun, stay safe and live your best life.