Table for One, Please.
The thought of writing a book is terrifying. The thought of writing [this] blog feels cliché.
Basically, the thought of writing anything over 140 characters is completely outside of my comfort zone.
Yet, lately, I am ambushed by the desire to. Perhaps the time in my life is to blame. I just left an all-consuming job to pursue freelance work. Which, really, means I've left to spend every waking moment fearing financial ruin. Or, merely the thought of picking up the phone to call my father. But, it's also likely that I feel more now than ever that I actually have something to say. I've lived, and have a little more life in my years than most my age, and so I've learned.
And, I've gotten a therapist to tell me that process never ends, for a non-negotiable fee of $250 an hour.
I find myself wanting to share the most routine, mundane of circumstances because I am acutely aware of my surroundings, which makes every little thing that I do so much more interesting. This is the internet and I'm potentially talking to all sorts of anonymous strangers, so I'll be 100% honest. (Which is 80% more honest than I am with anyone I know personally.) I prefer to be alone. In fact, most of my life is spent alone. I rent a tiny one bedroom apartment in the Lower East Side of Manhattan - and live alone. I venture to the local coffee shop and freeload the wi-fi for the majority of the day- alone. And when my therapist asks me to visualize my fantasies, I am almost always alone. (These are the sort of PG fantasies about happiness. Let's not cut ahead.)
Albeit, this is not the sad, sorry, single girl sort of alone. Sometimes I am completely by myself in my apartment, yes. And occasionally I have a good cry in a candlelit room listening to Bon Iver, yes. But the majority of the time I am energetically in public.
Make no mistake- I am well aware that my appreciation for solitude is a result of never having been in a serious relationship. Had I acquired a steady stream of boyfriends over the years, I may have also acquired a taste for light whispering at the movies and going halfsies. There's a distinction between the feeling, loneliness, and the intentional act. I choose to spend time by myself, which is how I'm able to feel completely comfortable at a table for one in a crowded restaurant. It is a bit invigorating to make such a public proclamation of my confidence and independence. And, mastering this ability is a beautiful process that forces me to be in touch with every move I make, every person I encounter, and every emotion I feel. There is not a doorman I don't engage or a cashier with whom I don't have a conversation. I suppose in opting out of a relationship with a man, I've opted into one with the world.
Over the years, it has surprised me to witness the controversy among my friends over such a simple activity as having a drink alone at a bar. They wouldn't dare. Most attribute it to boredom- what would I do sitting there without anyone to talk to? And some claim it's merely of no interest- why would I go alone when I don't have to? And it's just these questions that make me all the more a proponent. What a wonderful thing to sit with yourself, your mind free to be consumed by only your thoughts and your energy free to entice those around you. It's funny to think that something as simple as a drink preference could be influenced by our company, but what if you weren't putting on for anyone? Would you still select light beer or would you allow your senses to guide your decision, opting for flavor over appearance? Through countless conversations with bartenders and patrons, I myself have an affection for scotch and obscure red wines. A taste I had previously associated with waspy white men in their lucrative 50's.