As normal as it might be for a lot of people, I do not think I have been out to a restaurant to dine-in alone until this past Saturday morning. I feel like I have always wanted to do that, but I just never had done it until now. I always thought of meals as a social event in the past, but that could also be because I didn't quite feel confident enough to do it alone and so I would prefer to have someone with me to ease that anxiety and make me feel more comfortable.
That changed Saturday morning though, when I had a hankering for some eggs benny and nobody in sight to go out with last-minute. I was talking to my friend in Ottawa who told me I should just go, and I decided that I would because part of my journey to self-love and rebuilding my confidence has been about getting outside of my comfort zone and challenging myself to new experiences. I do a lot of things alone, so do not get me wrong - I am not someone who is ultra-dependent on others. I enjoy shopping alone, for example, because I usually know exactly what I want and I tend to not linger very long, but once in awhile, I do the opposite and spend way too long in one store (ahem... Homesense or sometimes Winners) and it is nice to not have someone rushing you or slowing you down when you are on a mission.
This was no hangover breakfast, so I actually was dressed and even put on some makeup before making my way to Bobby's for some gluten free goodness, and I'm pretty proud of that because I didn't even have my first coffee until I got to the restaurant. The Breakfast Gods were smiling down on me and there was no wait when I arrived, a quick masked trip from the door to my table and I was in business. The staff were fantastic, and I was quickly able to sit back with my coffee and just people-watch, which is a favourite pastime of mine. It can be interesting to just put your phone down sometimes and really observe and take in the experience that is happening all around you and be fully present in the moment with no distractions. I felt so at ease and comfortable that it surprised me, and I left there feeling recharged and very empowered with another new and fulfilling experience under my belt.
The recharged feeling only lasted for so long, and I ended up napping for awhile in the afternoon, which was glorious by the way. After a busy week at work, I embraced the quiet and spent the rest of the weekend listening to my body and mind who needed some major rest and relaxation. I am happy to be finding some of my purpose out there in the working world again and I know that I was missing that social connectedness, but I also really enjoy my quiet, alone time and I am grateful for every bit of peace and quiet I was able to enjoy in my own company over those two days. Twelve days into my 40 day "cleanse", and I am very thankful for the place I am in life that allows me to spend so much time in solitude without feeling a responsibility toward another person at this point in my life. I deserve my full focus and attention which I have rarely shown myself in the past and doing things like going out for a meal alone is really a great way of putting action to those words and thoughts.
On my drive into Prescott that day, it had been raining and very dark and grey. On my way home after breakfast and running errands, the sun was shining and it felt like that happened just for me as a sign to say I was making the right moves and I had faced this fear of going out to dine alone, and left feeling much lighter and brighter just like the day ended up becoming. I am not sure how often I will really dine out alone, I am pretty frugal and tend to really enjoy my own cooking, but the experience was a great one that I will be sure to repeat if and when the situation presents itself instead of missing out because I am not able to find someone to join me.
When going out to a movie theatre becomes more of the norm again, I would like to maybe push myself to try enjoying a movie solo because honestly, who wants to share their popcorn and candy anyway? Am I right? Until then, I am more than happy to be spending my evenings instead bingeing The Good Place alone in my bachelorette pad with my cats and still not needing to share my popcorn and candy.
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