The waiter/ress probably thinks I’m weird sitting by myself. Are the patrons looking at me? Should I eat slower? Should I not eat all of my food?
These are all of the thoughts that would go through my mind when I thought about eating out at a restaurant by myself. Not that I have the opportunity very often anymore, but before D was born there certainly were times where I could have. I’m sure that I’m not alone in thinking that eating at a restaurant is reserved for outings with friends, family, or significant others. I occasionally see people sitting by themselves at a restaurant and wonder how they do that and then I find myself kind of envying them for being secure enough to do so. Because that’s what it pretty much boils down to, right? Security.
I’m an introvert and also crave security. I don’t like being out of my comfort zone and it takes a lot of courage for me to try new things. I don’t even like going out for walks on hiking trails by myself because I worry about – I don’t know – being attacked by someone hiding in the woods and throwing my body over a ravine, never to be found again. I love my mother-in-law’s adventurous spirit and her ability to go out and try things by herself. I long to be that way, but it’s just not me.
Today an opportunity to fly solo presented itself. My husband took D out on a playdate with one of his friends. I decided to take our dog out for a walk on a hiking trail. I didn’t feel too worried walking her by myself since she is a very large dog. Anyone wanting to attack me would have to go through a rather intimidating looking dog. I found the experience very serene. I enjoyed walking with just my dog while taking in the scenery; not worrying about carrying on a conversation or keeping D happy. It felt rather…freeing.
After our walk I was very hungry. I had a hankering for Mexican food and a margarita. Should I? I wondered. A little ball of anxiety began swirling in my stomach, but I put it to a halt. I decided to make myself feel more comfortable, I would swing by the house real quick to grab my laptop so that I could write (Side note: I took my dog home so she was not sitting in the car).
I walked into the restaurant and asked to be seated in the bar. “Anyone joining you?” the host asked. I smiled and replied, “No. Just me.” I pulled out my laptop and opened it up next to me on the table. A little sigh of relief could be felt somewhere inside of me. My laptop was like my companion – or maybe an electronic security blanket. The experience was rather liberating. I didn’t have to keep a toddler from throwing his cup of water or food on the floor, and for the most part, the bar was rather quiet. I got to write by myself – nobody to bother me except for the waiter to take my order. How wondrous! Even better, I got to enjoy not one, but TWO margaritas while I wrote. Since I was busy lost in my own thoughts, I didn’t really notice that an hour had gone by.
After today I realize that there is nothing to be afraid of when I fly solo. Being my own company is very relaxing and who cares what anyone else thinks? Chances are they don’t give a flying swizzle stick that I’m by myself. I encourage everyone to try it more often. You might even learn a thing or two about yourself along the way.