When I was younger, I had a hard time doing things by myself. If I couldn’t find anyone to go to the movies with me or go to some event, I just wouldn’t go. I was too worried about what others may think–“she’s weird or she doesn’t have any friends…blah blah”. However, I started off slow. I really wanted to see the movie Evita when it came out in theaters and no one wanted to go, so I went by myself and had a great time.
It took me several years to muster up the courage to do it again: I started to take myself out on dates. If I wanted to go out for dinner, I would go even if no one would come. I would bring a book or just enjoy the activity that was pulsating around me. I became more of a frequent solo movie goer. There is always a movie that I want to see that no one else in my circle wants to go to or may not have time to.
However, the one thing that was eluding me was the solo vacation. I hadn’t quite worked up the nerve to do that. But this year, I decided to do so and since “Uncle Sam” was so generous this year, I didn’t feel guilty taking a portion to go somewhere by myself that I have always wanted to go–France…
Well not actually…lol I had limited funds and only had a week off, so I settled for the American version of France- New Orleans. Or to locals, “N’awlins”. I was slightly nervous at the thought of traveling by myself for pleasure. I had done it several times for work and/or research, but this was uncharted territory. But I am glad I did. There is something to be said about being able to explore a city on your own and have the opportunity to reflect in the stillness of your mind. I wasn’t constantly engaged with a companion, so my eyes and other senses did a better job of picking up the uniqueness of New Orleans–the faint smell of beignets, the lively locals, the peace and sense of life fulfilled I felt walking through the cemeteries. But it was not fully solo the whole time. I had a great chance to catch up with sorority sisters and friends that I met during my stint at Yale. Seeing them doing so well really made my heart glad. I know an amazing spectrum of people and it is always good to be able to touch base at every opportunity.
So in summary, if you haven’t ever traveled by yourself for pleasure or even taken yourself out on a date, what are you waiting for? Self-love is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and every thing counts. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable traveling alone, so take baby steps. Take yourself out to the movies or to dinner. Show yourself kindness. Regardless if you are in a relationship or not, it is something that you must be able to do. You have to make time for yourself and love yourself. Be that model of love so people have no doubt in their mind of how they should treat you.
But I will get off of my soapbox. I am done preaching for today.