Are you comfortable being on your own? Doing things by yourself? I’m an Aquarius. So I love solitude. I actually need it once in a while in order to recharge and just get my mind right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not antisocial. I completely enjoy being in the company of people that I love, but sometimes I need a day or two to hibernate.
But let’s really talk about being by yourself and doing social things independently. Going to a concert by yourself, having dinner by yourself, or taking a trip alone. This is a big deal for me, and I know I’m not the only one. When it comes to this there are usually are two types of people, those that jump to any invitation and confidently participate, and then those that are crippled with anxiety by the thought of going solo to any event, big or small. I think I’m somewhere in the middle actually. That’s due to me promising myself that if I’m going to do more for myself, you know living more abundantly, I have to do things differently. I had to acknowledge that the way I’ve been doing things hasn’t been quite fulfilling. I remember the topic of a women’s empowerment speech was “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.” The speaker talked about how growth and transformation does not occur in your comfort zone. This sounds logical, but its nerve-wracking. Lets be honest, comfort zones feel good. Why would you want to dwell outside of your comfort zone? Well, there can be some perks.
So last year I got an invitation to attend a friend’s wedding. It happened to be a very intimate gathering of approximately 20 family members and friends in Curacao. It sounded wonderful. But the way my anxiety is set up, I needed to talk myself through this decision. I would travel alone, just me, no kids, no plus one (I didn’t have one) in an intimate villa, but on a Dutch-Caribbean island where I really only knew the bride and groom. I started doing the mental gymnastics of talking myself in or out of it. I always weigh pros and cons in these situations, most of the time I’m over thinking and procrastination. Honestly, there were very little cons. It was surprisingly affordable. I LOVE to travel and I got an opportunity to visit a new place that I had never been to. I would get a very much needed break, and I was able to get out of a dreaded NY snowstorm in December. Everything lined up appropriately. I had a babysitter (thank goodness for grandmas), my renewal passport came in time, my vacation time was approved. So I decided to push myself, ignore my mental chatter and purchase my ticket. I’m really glad that I did. I cant say that I was completely comfortable not knowing anyone. I was nervous, but getting to witness the union of two beautiful people as they created a new beginning in paradise was wonderful. I hadn’t been to a wedding in a while. On a personal level, I congratulate myself when I accomplish things like this. It may seem small to someone else, but it was a personal achievement for me to take this trip by myself. Meeting new people was amazing and I really do believe it was life changing.
Reflecting on this trip makes me really think about how I became so dependent on other people to enjoy experiences. For a long time I’ve been doing everything as a single mother with my children. The’re teenagers now, so they’ll be doing things on their own more and more. When it comes to family and friends, I’ve missed out on so many things because either nobody else wanted to what I wanted, or schedules don’t allow. The irony is that when you go to an event like a concert or seminar, everyone there is interested in the same thing, and its quite possible that you could possibly form new relationships. But even if you don’t meet anyone, there is something satisfying about really wanting to do something and not letting anything stop you from enjoying it. Waiting on others to do things, can really be a crutch that hinders growth. It sounds cliche’, but growth really does occur outside of your comfort zone. It can be growing relationships, obtaining employment opportunities, seeking out new living spaces, or traveling and seeing the world. I made a promise be intentional in pushing myself to do more, even if it means going solo. I’m making a list of some things in 2019 that I’m going to do, regardless of who accompanies me. I encourage you to think about doing the same, and make the list count for you. Live for yourself, and live more. Just show up.