Over the past few years, I've been on several dates but my favorite dates have been the ones with myself. Yes, I date myself. There's something about being off on my own that just gives me a sense of independence. After high school, I started to realize that my priorities were a lot different from my friends. They wanted to party and spend money on tattoos and I wanted to venture off to new trails, different cities and try new things! I enjoy the simple things in life too, like a nice dinner, a movie and relaxing nights at home but I guess the simple things are overrated. Guys my age only wanted one thing and, well, let's just say that it's not going off on new adventures. So this often left me at home alone on a Friday night. At first, I hated it. I felt so alone and I was miserable until one night my switch just flipped.

"I was no longer going to let the absence of others keep me from doing the things I wanted to do!"

I was starving and craving Mexican. I got out of my bed threw some clothes on and went to get food, and not take out, dine in! It was weird at first, eating alone. I felt very uncomfortable like everyone was watching me, judging me for sitting alone. "What if they think I was stood up or I have no friends?" I was so worried about what everyone else was thinking that I barely ate, but I did it. As I walked out the door, I remember feeling a little bit empowered. It was like I didn't need anyone anymore. That's when my attitude on life changed.

"From then on if I wanted something I no longer waited on anyone to go with me. If I wanted something, I went after it and boy am I still gettin' it!"

Since then, I've become brave! I've been just about everywhere all by myself. I've made going to the movies alone quite interesting! There's no shame in my game! I've snuck a mini cheesecake platter in my purse a few times! I mean, hello, you can't watch "Me Before You" without chocolate and sometimes, bunch a crunch just don't do the trick! Sneaking Buffalo Wild Wings and Chick-Fil-A may be frowned upon, but it sure makes the movie ten times better, I swear!

I remember being in Chicago for a Herbalife conference and was the only twenty something year old there. While the group wanted to eat Red lobster, I was dying to go watch the fireworks from a fairs wheel on the Navy Pier. I battled myself for a solid twenty minuets on if I should ask the group to change our plans or not. I thought maybe I could go alone but wondered if I would get scared and panic. Then, suddenly, I decided I could do it on my own.

Yes, I tackled Chicago on my own! I took a taxi to the train, a train to the bus stop and then the bus stop to the pier. By the time I got to the pier and on the fairs wheel the fireworks were just getting started. It was the most magical thing I've ever experienced. On my way back I decided to walk to the next bus stop and somehow I found myself on a bicycle, in downtown Chicago, nearly getting ran over because I hadn't road a bike in years! I was laughing and making a memory all on my own and it was amazing! Being on what felt like the top of the world, knowing I got there on my own was exhilarating. I wasn't scared, or lonely, just completely content with life.

"I think that's when the reality of my life set in, I was going to be a wanderer and I have every right to just embrace it!"

That same summer, my boyfriend and I had plans to finish our scuba diving certification at Lake Ouachita. Lucky me, we broke up and I was without a diving partner. I was looking forward to camping and diving and I wasn't going to let a break up ruin my plans. Yes, I had a date with me, myself, and a campsite! (Don't worry I let the park ranger know who I was and my schedule and asked him to check on me from time to time.) I did my dives during the day and sat around the campfire at night, alone. It was actually very peaceful, until the rain hit. The first night I woke up to some 'coons outside my tent, and I thought someone moved my tiki torch and I could have swore I was going to die. No worries, the shadow the tiki torch cased only made it seam like it had moved, I was just paranoid. On the second day of my date with the wilderness, I came back from the dive, only to find my "neighbors" chasing my tent as it was blowing off into the cliffs. It's pouring and these beautiful souls are chasing my poor tent down to help me set it back up. I can't help but laugh at my luck! I was stubborn and down right determined to finish this trip, in my tent, by myself, like a big girl! I made a memory, and a downright hilarious one, all on my own.

This past summer, I spent my days off from my nanny gig, going places and doing things, crossing skydiving, zip lining, alligator parks and taking a self defense class, off my bucket list. I didn't know anyone, other than the family I was with in Florida, but I didn't let that stop me from passing up the most daring experience of my life! I had a date with an airplane! I literally loaded my butt up, didn't tell anyone, and jumped out of a plane! After the adrenaline wore off, I posted pictures on Facebook only for my friends and family to be completely shocked! Everyone kept asking me who I went with and they probably thought I was crazy when I told them I went alone.

"I saw an opportunity and I took it, no hesitations."

My next step is to take an entire trip all on my own. You see, when I explore a new part of God's world that I've never seen before, I tend to appreciate it more when I'm alone. I get to soak up every inch of his glory and truly appreciate my life and all of the beauty He has put in it. I don't have the details worked out just yet but I've got a date with me, myself and a new country here shortly! Stay tuned!

Before I knew it, I turned into this strong and independent woman who isn't afraid to be alone and date herself. I enjoy my own company and I embrace the loneliness from time to time! I eat where I want, I go where I want, I do what I want, with out any regret of doing it alone.

My independence started with a dinner. A simple meal alone led me to walking the streets of down town Chicago, to camping alone in Lake Ouachita, to jumping out of a plane in Florida. I learned that you don't need anyone to make a memory, you can do that all on your own. Be alone, be free and date yourself! You don't need approval or validation from anyone. If you have something you want to go do, go out and do it because...

"If you wait your entire life for someone to go with you, you'll never get to where you want to go"

-Candice O'Bar