Seems a little silly, as I reflect back on this task now that I’m getting closer to the end, that going on a date with myself was such an out-of-the-norm thing to do that I needed to put it on this list to get it done. But in the process of doing this project, and learning more about myself, I’ve found that carving out time in my day to spend with me shouldn’t only be recommended but necessary. Spending half an hour working on a project that I love purely because I enjoy it or waking up a little earlier to walk to the station so that I don’t have to rush or get stuck in traffic has become so integral to my daily schedule, I honestly can’t figure out how I was functioning before.
But looking at this task in retrospect, I can understand why I felt the need to add it to the list. I would never go to a cafe for the purposes of having breakfast just because I wanted to because I could always go to that cafe with my boyfriend or with a friend or for a professional meeting. I wouldn’t go watch a movie by myself because I knew someone who wanted to see the same movie so I might as well watch it with them. And while it’s so important to spend time with people who make you happy, the importance of focusing in on yourself and taking care of you was so lost on me. Now I know it’s been little under a year since this whole project started, and I’m not suggesting that I’m a completely different person after doing this project, but I can say for certainty that my appreciation for me-time is a lot stronger and it’s necessity shall (hopefully!) never be lost on me again.
I won’t bore you with the details of my me-date. I got some great food, soaked up some sun and read a great book. I went shopping (and not just window shopping while waiting for someone or to pass the time or for a specific thing in mind – just shopping), took photos like a tourist in the only City that I know the way I know Sydney and came home feeling refreshed and more in love with solitude than I thought possible before starting this project.
I hate the judgement that comes with doing things alone or the awkward feeling that people are watching you eat alone and assuming that it’s because you have no friends. I know that’s a horribly harsh thing to think, but it’s more than just the assumptions of an anxious millennial. I went to an all-girls school and I remember what they used to say. It used to bug me that they’d say it, and even though I’d tell them that they’re being silly, the thought would nag me every time I’d ask for a table for one. So I did what the psychologist in me told me to do, and I ate on my own until it stopped bothering me. And you know what I’ve noticed? Most people are too busy on their phones, in their books, writing notes or talking to the person/people sitting with them to even notice me. Never let fear stand in the way of good food and good quality time with you.