Don't Be Afraid To Do Things Alone

I Love Doing Things Alone and That's OK

You don't always have to have someone by your side in order to do the things you want to do.

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In high school, it was rare to find me without my group of friends. I rarely spent my spare time alone. I heavily relied on my friends to accompany me to places—the movies, school events, shopping, you name it. I felt as if I couldn't go anywhere or do anything if I didn't have someone to go with. I didn't realize my codependency at the time - I just thought it was normal to always need your friends. I mean, that's why you have friends, right? To do things with.

My best friends and I during our sophomore year of high school at our hangout spot, Applebee's.

I moved to Boise during my sophomore year of college citing a change of scenery as my reasoning. Everyone was a little confused, but supportive. "What will you do without each other?" People would ask my best friend and me, but I hadn't thought about that. I had been so caught up in wanting to move out of the town that I had always known, I hadn't even thought about the fact that I would be leaving my friends behind. And then it hit me, I wasn't going to have any friends when I moved. Yeah, I was going to be living with two people I knew from high school, but we weren't super close. I didn't know how to make new friends since I hadn't had to make any since high school started, and that was easy because I saw the same people every day there. Suddenly, moving seemed like a bad idea, but I did it anyway... Mostly because I had already signed a lease.

The first couple months weren't bad. My roommates and I hung out together a lot and I wasn't alone most of the time. But conflicting schedules and school eventually got in the way and pretty soon I was on my own. My roommates were never home at the same time as me or they were hanging out with each other and their other friends. So I stayed in a lot, watched a lot of Netflix and went to class and work and was pretty lonely. I would try to see if my roommates would want to do things, but they would be busy and I would just skip out on whatever it was I wanted to do.

Reading at a coffee shop.

I don't exactly remember the very first time I went to a movie by myself—it might have been the time I saw Keanu or Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping because my roommates thought both those movies looked dumb and didn't want to see them—but I remember the feeling. When I walked up to get my ticket I thought the workers were going to think I was a loser (maybe they did) or give me dirty look (they didn't) so I checked my phone while I was in line to make it look like maybe I was waiting on someone. I'm sure it didn't work. I was so paranoid about everyone judging me, but no one cared. I went in and watched the movie and laughed at what I thought was funny and didn't have to worry about what someone else was thinking about the movie. It was freeing. I left the theater feeling like a new person.

Once I got past that first time, I realized I don't need to rely on other people to go do things with me — my own company is enough. I've gotten a lot more confident and independent since then and have done a lot of things I never thought I would do on my own. A year ago, when Adam Devine was at The Egyptian Theatre, I impulsively bought a ticket the day of and went and sat in a theatre full of people with dates, family members, and friends, and I laughed my head off. I had never gone to an event like that by myself before, and I found that it wasn't much different than going to a movie alone. And I wasn't really alone; every person in that theatre experienced the same joy I felt that night. I went home feeling warm and happy and glad that I took a chance and bought that single ticket.


My view while waiting for The Book of Mormon to start.

I go to a movie by myself once a week now (thank you MoviePass) because it's like taking myself on a date— self-care, if you will. It's one of my favorite things to do. I've gone to concerts alone and made friends there. I went to see "The Book of Mormon" alone, but with a ticket from the nice girl I met while waiting for the drawing who actually won the lottery (we had bonded over being by ourselves). I go to coffee shops and parks and the library by myself to read or study or to just get out of the house.

If you don't already, I challenge you to do something by yourself this week. Go to a movie or for a walk in the park or go read a book at that coffee shop you've always wanted to go to. Go enjoy your own company because, in the end, you're the only person you can truly rely on to go do the things with you want to do.

Cover Image Credit:

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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