I see you over there. Glancing at me with that ‘I feel sorry for you’ look on your face. Stop it. Don’t feel sorry for me.
I see you staring. Wondering why I’m dining alone. I can almost see the pity on your face.
Even though I actually really love to dine alone, in the past from time to time, I’d still take a book because I cared that other people might think I was a Nigel no friends and didn’t have anyone to eat with.
These days – well, I don’t care. But people still stare at me.
The truth is, sometimes I prefer to eat alone. In fact, its part of my self care routine. Every Friday (well almost every Friday) I take myself to lunch, by myself, at one of the many cafes near my office. I cherish this time to myself. Sometimes I’ll take a book and have a read, but mostly I just sit and people watch and enjoy my food and just….well….just be.
Not always of course. I’m a people person. I love people. My people. New people. I love me too, and I’ve learnt over the years to love my own company.
When I travel, I love nothing more than exploring a new city and finding somewhere to have my dinner – alone. Of course, not every night, but some nights. I find it re-energises me.
So stop staring at me like I have two heads. I can see you doing it even though you’re trying to pretend you’re not. Seriously, don’t feel sorry for me – I am in one of my happy places right here, right now, eating my food, sitting in the sun and enjoying my ‘me’ time.
When was the last time you took yourself on a date?
Annually I also take myself away on a silent meditation retreat for 6 days. There are other people there of course, and the thing that keeps me coming back is that no-one can speak to me – for 6 whole days! I can see as I write this that it might sound a little selfish, or crazy.
Now I love a good chat, probably more than the next person, and I love connecting with people, and I also love this 6 days in silence, where I don’t speak to anyone and no-one speaks to me.
I’m starting to realise that I’m not an either/or person, but rather an ‘and’ person. I love eating with friends and also alone, I enjoy 6 days of silence and I enjoy connecting with people.
It’s all about balance.
When was the last time you took yourself away?
When was the last time you took some time to get to know yourself?
I highly recommend taking yourself on a date once in a while and even, if you’re up for it, taking yourself away from time to time.
And if you get the ‘I feel sorry for you eating/holidaying alone’ look, just smile back knowing that you’re doing what you want to do, spending quality time with yourself, getting to know yourself better and letting yourself just ‘be’ for a while.
“Let your life be your message” Mahatma Gandhi.