I remember it like it was yesterday. I was about 14 years old and had read something online about the average person being unable to do things like go to the movies, or go out to dinner, by themselves.
Loving a challenge, I felt sure that it was something I could do. So, one weekend I chose a movie and asked my mother to drop me off at the mall.
Wait, before I continue; you might be wondering why I’m talking about this. Well, it all started walking through Hyde Park, London recently:
At first, it did feel strange walking into the cinema alone and seeing groups of friends chatting with each other, parents with their children, couples with each other, etc.
About five minutes or so after waiting for the trailers to begin, those troublesome things called my insecurities began to die down.
But then trouble walked in.
In the form of three of my classmates. Maybe if I hadn’t recognised them I would’ve stayed blissfully unaware, enjoying my ‘me-time movie day’. Oh, but we noticed each other. That’s where the awkwardness and desperate pleas for the seat to swallow me whole began.
So, How’d You Go From Chill to Counting-Down-The-Minutes-to-the-Movie’s-End?
Things took an ugly turn when people that recognised me and would realise that I was by myself, walked in. Maybe it was the fact that the other moviegoers were complete strangers, so their thoughts were irrelevant.
But I instantly wanted to leave. The only thing that kept me somewhat glued to my seat was that expensive movie ticket (I am not a fan of wasting money).
Looking (embarrassingly) back, I realised a few things:
And maybe somewhere in my mind
I was afraid that they’d think those mean things, maybe because I subconsciously thought them about myself (at the time); that I was a lame loner who wasn’t worthy of friends. Did I mention that I was new to the country and school at the time?
Being a lame, a loner, (all the words we unknowingly used back then to mean, simply, anti-social), someone no one wanted to be around. That was not the mark I wanted to leave, in this new country, new school, about myself.
What it all boils down to.
That was, essentially, what it was. Fourteen year old me worrying about the impression that my ‘social solitude’ (the award for making up terms off the cuff goes to yours truly?).
It may have been ‘the most embarrassing day of my life’ (just quoting what 14-yr old me would more than likely have said), but it later on taught me a very important life lesson:
I, alone, am the Master of the mark I make on the world about who I am. Click To Tweet
Oh, incase I needed to update you; I clearly lost the ‘challenge’ I’d made to myself back then. But I learnt that doing things solo doesn’t have to negatively define me. If it does, I’m in control of the definition. Doing things solo doesn't have to define me. If it does, I'm in control of the definition. Click To Tweet
And that day at Hyde Park? I defined myself as a young lady, confident and chill, walking through the park enjoying the beautiful day.
Do you ever feel anxious about doing everyday things alone? Can you do things like going to the movies, for coffee or for dinner, without friends or a boyfriend in tow? I’d love to hear why or why not below! Either way, remember doing things alone does not define who you are as a person!