Quote of the day:
“Date yourself. Take yourself out to eat. Don’t share your popcorn at the movies with anyone. Stroll around an art museum alone. Fall in love with canvases. Fall in love with yourself.”
– Author Unknown
I’ve just begun dating myself. Every day since I’ve started, I’ve learned something new about myself I didn’t already know. It took me a while to realize being by myself is not always a bad thing; i’m not by myself because I can’t be with friends at that moment, but because I don’t necessarily want to.
I also want to reiterate that I’m by myself during these times, I’m not alone. I choose to do these things to make myself comfortable with myself, because I may not always have people to validate my feelings and to tell me I’m awesome. I have to feel that way about myself. I also need to know what makes me tick, what is quirky about me and maybe even what’s stifling my growth.
To learn all of this, I do things such as:
Explore the city
I did this for the first time a few weekends ago. I woke up at a decent time on Saturday morning (a rare occurrence for this college student), grabbed my camera and headed out for the day. I experienced Waco’s farmer’s market for the first time. I also found some adorable little shops along Austin Avenue. I took photos, met people, learned about upcoming events and even painted what I loved most about Waco on a canvas on the sidewalk outside of a small art gallery. I painted the letters B and U, of course
I used to think eating alone was the epitome of loneliness. “Wow, they couldn’t find anyone to eat with?” or “Mom, you ate at the restaurant by yourself? I’m so sorry.” might have escaped my mouth at some point. When I got to college, I realized it was not a sad thing. It was not a lonely thing. I just wanted to eat alone! Between classes, at the end of the day and even at the beginning of the day, I just wanted a moment to myself. Eating is a great way to get that time in. I started to get annoyed when people would walk by me and say, “why are you here alone?” I often just stared. “Well, to be alone, which is not happening because now you’re here.” That’s what I wanted to say.
The social scene can wear on a person. It’s fun, it’s thrilling and it’s important to be social. Every once in a while, though, it’s nice to kick back by yourself and enjoy Netflix and a cup of tea – if that’s your cup of tea (I’m so punny). One of the things I’ve learned about myself: I hate being on the social scene when I don’t feel up to it. On those nights, I’m more likely to give up the social scene for that night and cuddle up underneath my blanket. I might even get into blogging mode. Tonight is one of those nights. I am able to think, learn and recuperate in this down time.
Work toward your goals
It’s easy to get swept up in everything happening around you and forget your goals. On dates with myself, I read about things I’m interested in, think about what I want and consider things I’d like to do in life. This has allowed me to better understand when I’m really happy or when I want and need to make improvements in an area of my life. I can’t make any progress if I don’t take the time to consider my own thoughts. I think a lot of people are scared of their own thoughts, but your thoughts should not take you by surprise. You should learn how your mind works and how to make progress because of them!
Find a hobby
A hobby is defined as an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. I used to struggle with finding a hobby because it seemed like it had to be something “hobby-like.” I wanted to be able to say, “my hobbies include reading, DIY crafting, cooking and sewing. I’m such a well-rounded person.” #WifeyMaterial, am I right? The truth is, I wasn’t good at any of those things, except reading, which I haven’t had the energy to do for leisure purposes due to college. I had to let it come to me. My hobby became blogging before I could even realize I had a hobby. For the first time, I’m embracing my writing and feeling confident in it, which enables me to happily do it as a hobby! It’s a release and is an ideal hobby for me. It also serves as another way for me to explore my thoughts – with all of you by my side, of course.
I do have a boyfriend, who I date as well. One of the things I’ve expressed as a “beneficial” aspect of our relationship is that our long distance relationship allows us to have this time. I’ve learned to appreciate the distance, even if I dislike it.
I’m young and ever-changing, and I’m slowly learning myself through and through. I’m also learning to accept who I am, no matter who that may be!