06.07.12 Love

Confession: I Go Out Alone

Confession: I Go Out Alone

BY Sandra Anne

I’m writing this from a bar stool where I perch alone. Solo. Wrapped in my own thoughts. Does that make your palms sweat? Speed your heart? Or are you the kind who relishes in your independence? One who loves the adventure of the unknown. A person who is secure enough to have a date for one. That would be me. I eschew all labels of loner and loser and choose to spend time with little old me.

I never used to be this free. I used to fear going anywhere unaccompanied – you would always find me with a friend or two in tow. When alone, I was scared of my own thoughts weaving wickedly together and fooling me into anxiety. I was awkward and introverted, and trembled if a stranger spoke to me. Conversation? What’s that? My tongue was tied in knots.

The time the change happened can be pinpointed exactly. It was the moment I became confident enough not to care what anyone else thought. All it took was a trip to Europe. You know the kind. Coming of age backpacker roaming around the continent via train, discovering what it means to really live. It was a trip I was supposed to take with another, but one I suddenly found myself on alone. Once I realized that I had to eat, I ventured out to the nearest bar or restaurant in whichever city I was in. Book, notepad or postcards in hand as my date, I would find a seat to revel in what great sights I had seen that day. I met other solo travelers and locals, all welcoming and eager to talk. I was instantly given permission to be alone, a state that frequently never lasted long – being alone, that is.

When I returned home and got into the spider web of the corporate world, I now relished my lunch hours as a time to be with me. Time to read, time to write, time to think. In the summer months I found a sunny perch to recharge from the office power drain. Colleagues and friends at the office often saw me and never understood my solitude. “You don’t have to sit by yourself! I’ll have lunch with you next time!” they cried, as though it were a terrible deed to be alone. Were they secretly jealous of my independence? Or legitimately uncomfortable riding solo? I wanted to impart my new found wisdom on them and make them see that I had found greatness being on my own.

Now that I work for myself, I often take my work to a bar stool. I sit there pondering my thoughts and gaining stimulation from my surroundings for words to play together in my notebook. This is where my muse visits me. She whispers sweet nothings in my ear when no one else is around.

The option to socialize is always there. I can either let the world in or I can close the doors to it. When I open my barricade, I meet the most fascinating people. I have met lovers, friends, business associates, and mentors while being alone. They are individuals I would never have the great pleasure of knowing if I had been surrounded by my peers.

Not only have I met a slew of fantastical people, but I’ve met me. I’ve become closer with myself and I actually like her. Loving yourself should come before loving anyone else. Once you’ve got that down, others will love you too. It’s infectious. Confidence and independence are two of the sexiest and most compelling characteristics out there. They produce a layer of mystery and intrigue.

Don’t get me wrong, a night out with friends is energizing and almost nothing beats a cheek aching laugh with your girls. Never give this up, but do add some solo adventure to your schedule. I challenge you to sit on a bar stool on a date for one… and see what happens.

Featured image by Melodramababs on Flickr

Sandra Anne is a freelance writer in Vancouver and creator of Tales from a Bar Stool, a collection of sassy stories inspiring readers to be bold, talk to everyone, and live life to its fullest. She drinks Old Fashioneds, chases adventure, and smiles at strangers. Read her tales at her blog or follow her on Twitter @talesfromabar

Comments

  • Creative Miss Bee

    Great article! Just what I needed to read. Will be checking out the blog regularly for sure.

    • Tales from a Bar Stool

       Thank you!! Hope you get out there on your own 🙂

  • Busera2003

    one more blog to follow 🙂 

    • Tales from a Bar Stool

      Thanks 🙂

  • Thank you so much for this blog entry.  Sometimes you stumble across something at absolutely the perfect time that makes you pause and truly think.  Thank you for making that happen for me.  This entry has inspired me and I cannot wait to read more…

    • Tales from a Bar Stool

       So happy that you liked it. Means so much 🙂

  • Anny B

    This is so true. Going out alone showed me that I didn’t need to be around friends to have a good time, and it allowed me to meet some really interesting people!

    • Tales from a Bar Stool

       Good times happen anytime and anywhere. 🙂

  • Linh

    Hi Sandra. I’ve also been hanging out alone by myself. Didn’t want to but just find myself doing that every single day for the last few days. I love the feeling of going anywhere I want to and spend as much time as i want in one place instead of having to being influenced by others. I basically have no friends right now. I’m recovering from depression and during the stage of being depressed there were some dramas that separated some of my close friends away from me. But I don’t intend to do anything as yet. I’m enjoying doing things alone and they might be thinking i’m getting more depressed because of having no support but I guess I’m not, i’m feeling free more than ever.

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