Kids, after spending a week with family and friends on an island for my 30th, I realised something profound about myself – I liked being alone.
As in, I couldn’t get enough of having me time and was especially grumpy if I didn’t get adequate supplies of it. Which, considering I was knee-deep in the search for your father, posed quite the dilemma. How was I ever going to be a part of a couple if I loved being alone?
I was perplexed and frustrated with myself about this for a while until I realised that actually, being comfortable being alone is okay. Too often, I’d see people in relationships who were lonelier being part of a twosome than I was being single and they were miserable! I wanted to meet your dad- desperately, it’s true – but not enough to give up all of my glorious freedom just yet.
Not everyone was as comfortable with being alone as I was…. In fact, I got a microscopic view once into one friend’s life who couldn’t go one day without freaking out about eating alone or checking their social media platforms for validation from their online peers. Watching this person physically ache for company because they couldn’t just be one with themselves tired me and made me appreciate my ability to rock the solo vibe all the more.
Maybe it was the wisdom that comes with turning 30 (more likely all of the Mojitios I was ingesting!) or maybe it took me seven days in the constant company of others to realise that to be a part of a successful pair, you need to be a successful single first.
As I gazed out towards the gorgeous coastline from my hammock, sipping a Pina Colada or three, I made a list of all of the solo activities I loved doing and which I was determined to do more of before (and after) I welcomed you and your dad into my life and which I would gladly encourage others to do too:
- Dine alone, whilst gazing out at a beautiful view: it helps me appreciate the silence, the food and the wonders of nature without having to make meaningless conversation with someone else when I don’t feel like it.
- Go see a movie whenever I want: Not everyone has similar movie tastes (I ADORE horror movies and anything with Alexander Skarsgard so I usually rock those alone.I also dig really bad movies that everyone else hates and since your Spirit Godmother Leo does too, we do this together occasionally), so if I really, really want to see something, I’ll go see it and hog the popcorn and chocolates to myself!
- Read a captivating book: I know I’ve instilled in you the importance of reading – not only does it open new worlds for you, it’s a great way to spend quality time with yourself. And no, you are not being rude when reading in company you’d rather not have. Sooner or later, the person will get the message and bugger off (hopefully).
- Be a couch potato: Sometimes all I wanted to do was switch off my phone, shut my door and have a True Blood or Games of Thrones series marathon without having to speak to another human being or take their fragile feelings into account … and you know what? That was ok. Like they say in the flight attendant instructional video: “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first – THEN you can help others”. Similarly, you have to spend time with yourself before spending time with others.
- Have a solo picnic or beach day: Guys, my best parts of these kinds of days is just lazing about, watching the tide come in or listening to children squeal with laughter around me but not needing to physically be a part of it all. It’s a great reminder that we all play a part in a much bigger picture.
- Go to an event alone: In October 2015, for various reasons I attended Zombie Walk solo and I still had a shitload of fun.
I ran into other friends I didn’t expect to see and that was great, but the best part was striking up conversations with strangers who shared the same passion as I did. I learnt so much more about people and myself and that there was a whole new set of weirdos for me to get to know.
Going solo to events make you step out of your comfort zone and meet new people – who knows if one of those not-so-handsome undead could have been your dad? 😉
What it boils down to is this, kids: I couldn’t wait to meet your dad and have you but until then, I was perfectly happy rocking my solo act like the fabulous and flirty thirty-year-old that I was!