When did we become so dependent?
This post has been in the works, churning in my mind for over 4 months. It’s partly because I kept having the same conversation with different people. I wanted to understand why it’s so crippling for some people to do things alone. It seems the world is made up of two kinds of people (just for the sake of this post), People Who Can Do Things Alone and People Who Won’t Do Anything Unless Someone’s With Them. I’ve always been pretty independent and enjoyed my alone time. Even when I was twelve years old I remember playing in the woods with my friends and then deciding to walk off and get lost by myself. I ended up finding a creek which turned into our favorite place to hang out during the summer. I remember sitting in my back yard looking down a long road and dreaming of the day I’d be old enough to go down that road and see what’s at the other end. I really value my time alone with my thoughts. That doesn’t mean I’m antisocial though, I love a good party and a great group of people. I am an entertainer and my favorite past time is making people laugh. I was voted class clown in both middle and high school. But I never felt the need to need someone in order for me to do something, go somewhere or try something. Although I always had friends around who were down if need be.
"I never felt the need to need someone in order for me to do something, go somewhere, try something"
I remember once in college, going to a club, not 1 block from my dorm, alone. I knew I’d know atleast half the people in there and it was a 5 minute walk away. Later when I told my close group of friends about it, they gasped as if I’d broken some cardinal rule. GIRRRRRRRL you went to the club by yourself? Why didn’t you ask us? What did you do there? I was bombarded with questions. And I found it to be absolutely amusing. I spent that evening at the club dancing and having a good time with about 40 other people who I knew. But I think in high school and in college is when that dependency starts for some people. Then it just spills over into adult life.
I know grown women who would BALK at the idea of going to dinner alone, or a movie, or to a social event where they may not know anyone. I know those women and I personally think it can be a crutch. Think about it, what if there is an amazing exhibition at a museum and it’s the last day to see it. Your BFFF can’t join you because she has to work and the other two friends you ask have plans. So you just don’t go. That’s pretty fucking sad. You can miss out on amazing opportunities in life, the chance to meet new people or experience something that could be life changing because you don’t want to go or do it by yourself.
GET THE LOOK
It takes guts to let go of the notion that you need some kind of emotional support system to go sit down at a new restaurant with just yourself and dine on this new cuisine you’ve been wanting to try for 3 months. I go out to eat alone all the time. I don’t feel weird about it. I like to sit and people watch and the funny thing is I always meet someone who I end up having an amazing conversation with. I’ve gone to events alone, knowing that I’d meet like minded people there because if I’m interested in this, and they are interested in this, then we already have common ground.
I’ve gone super rogue and traveled alone as well. I spent 2 weeks in Paris 2 years ago and it was the best time I’ve ever had in my life on a vacation. I met new friends. I got lost wandering the tiny streets. I honed my French when my local boulangerie owner wouldn’t sell me anything until I asked for it in French. I became a regular at my now favorite Parisian restaurant and even if I don’t visit for a year when they see me they sit me at my favorite table and greet me by calling me The New Yorker. It’s very funny how a whole new aspect of life can open up when you stop depending on people for the most mundane things. Traveling is huge and it takes a special kind of person to travel alone, but it wont kill you to go ahead and see that movie you’ve been wanting to see alone because nobody has time to see it with you. I guarantee you’ll still have a good time (who the hell talks during the movie anyway).