I spend a lot of time alone. That is the way I have always been. As a child I often preferred to play alone in my room, or read a book. I had lots of friends, but I never really needed to hang out with them. I have never had the need to be surrounded by a lot of people. And, not much has changed since I was a wee lass. I still prefer the company of a good book to most people, and I spend a lot of time by myself – just doing things. I read. I play the Ukulele. I sing. I have underwear dance parties. I write. I watch movies and television shows. It’s nice because I like me, and I don’t get very annoyed with myself. I have a life – its just lived in private and that’s the way I like it. Just because someone doesn’t go out every night doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy their time.
But, lately I have been trying to go out more – with people. Sure, I still went to the movies and to a bar by myself on Friday night, but that was an exception. I have actually been calling people to meet for drinks, or dinner or whatnot. I hear this is what “normal” people do. And its been fun. I have enjoyed laughing, drinking and eating tacos with my friends. I am still a little uncomfortable in a large group of people, but we can’t have it all. It’s kind of strange considering that most people find me to be a bit of a loud mouthed social butterfly.
But something else has happened during this experiment. I have realized how uncomfortable it makes OTHER people to see someone sitting alone in a bar or restaurant. Movie theater workers often look up and say something like, “Just one ticket?” In bars I hear, “Are you waiting for someone?” Nope. Just me. And then I usually get this look like – oh you poor, poor girl. Whatever. I LIKE seeing movies alone. I don’t have to suffer through someone talking the whole time or be swayed by what they think is funny or sad. I like to go to bars alone and people watch or write. It’s also a great way to meet people. Traveling alone is also optimal for me. When you travel with someone else, you are constantly having to compromise and things just take longer. Sure, all of these things are fun in the right company as well, but I often prefer to do them alone.
So I guess I am trying to find the middle ground between spending time alone and spending time with people. I know being alone makes most people uncomfortable, but I am kind of on the other end of the spectrum. I’m not shy, I just don’t really like people. But, I get a great feeling being alone. For example – this morning I woke up at 7am and went for a run in the park near my flat. The park, which over looks Karlin, was empty. I started to run when I noticed some swings. Well, I ended up swinging and singing at the top of my lungs! I was laughing and smiling like a crazy person. A couple of old ladies walking their dogs stopped and stared. I smiled and waved. But, as I was slowing down, as I was coming down from the great heights of my swing, I noticed another woman who was alone. She was standing at another swing set watching me. She turned around and got on a swing and started swinging.
This made me smile.