Going solo

Beautiful oceanDoing things by yourself has a certain stigma. While you’re probably used to seeing people on their own at coffee shops, just try going for dinner by yourself. You’ll probably receive pitying looks from those around you. “Oh, you couldn’t get someone to come with you?” their glances seem to say.

I think aloneness is a concept that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Why do something by yourself, if you can invite all your friends? I’ve run into groups of acquaintances at the mall who seem shocked that I’m shopping by myself. I prefer shopping by myself, its easier to get everything done efficiently and I can take as many breaks as I need. While I do enjoy the company of others (in smaller amounts), I also enjoying doing things alone. I like to call it going solo.

This past Sunday I had the most amazing day. I was originally going to hang out at a festival with a good friend. Unfortunately, she got called into work and we had to cancel our plans. I decided to go anyway. I was there for two hours, but because I was on my own, I was able to step out of the crowd and take breaks whenever I started feeling too uncomfortable. Being able to take those breaks allowed me to really enjoy the atmosphere. At the two hour mark, I was feeling on the edge, and had already seen everything, so I decided to head in another direction.

I walked into the downtown core and got some sushi for lunch. I then spent the next couple of hours walking along the river, stopping to watch the water, and taking pictures. It was so relaxing and so beautiful. Eventually I decided to head home as I still had some things I needed to do. I arrived home physically tired but not as mentally drained as I usually am after an excursion. Spending time near the river really helped to restore and rejuvenate me.

Although I would have loved to spend time with my friend, I still had an incredible time going solo.

What do you like to do on your own?

Image credit: “Let me fly away with you” by Daniel Hoherd is licensed under CC by 2.0


25 thoughts on “Going solo

  1. VTNessa says:

    I like to hike alone. Granted, it’s not the safest choice (I do take my dog), but I am not worried about slowing others down by my snail’s pace, I can truly listen to my surroundings because no one is alongside me talking non-stop, and I can take whichever path I choose without consulting anyone else. I love that freedom!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Warrior Freya says:

    I feel sort of bad that my initial, knee jerk answer is “Everything.” But it’s pretty true. As long as I am going into an environment I have been before then I don’t mind going alone, and in most cases would prefer it.

    Running to the grocery store is my most frequent outing aside from going to work. The gym and dojo are ‘my things’, and I want to keep them that way. I don’t want a workout buddy because then I wouldn’t be able to do what I want guilt-free.

    I frequently go to my sports bar alone where I balance my budget and do my weekly recaps for my blog and work. Again, a solo thing. Being there so early in the afternoon means there aren’t many other people, and since I’m focused on my task I really don’t know if I get the pity looks. To be honest I’m to the point now where I wouldn’t care if I did get them. If they want to feel sorry for me that’s their thing. I don’t, and won’t, feel sorry for myself because I’m having a good time doing exactly what I want to be doing.

    I go to the art store on my own when I need to get more threads for my projects, or mounting board.

    Maybe my knee jerk answer isn’t as wrong, or as bad, as I originally thought. I’m pretty self reliant, and most of the time I use my errands, or rather the travel time in-between them, as my recovery time away from people. That doesn’t work very well if there’s a person with you in the car.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ally says:

      Very true! All of my normal weekly activities are done solo. Grocery shopping, going to the gym, and walking are all done on my own and I prefer it that way.

      My previous roommate and I got along extremely well. But because she didn’t have a car, I would drive her everywhere. I didn’t mind, but I also didn’t realize what I was missing out on. When she moved out, and I drove alone to work, I was amazed by how much my mood improved.

      I always appreciate your insight, thank you for sharing your point of view. I’ve definitely learned to care less what others think over the past few months and it really does help! Hope you have a great weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. budgiesntiels says:

    Warrior Freya, everything was my first reaction too. I live alone. I like to grocery shop alone. I have no problem going out to eat alone, to see a movie alone, to the gym alone or anywhere alone. Too many people don’t know that being alone doesn’t necessarily mean you that you are lonely. Julie

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Highly Sensitive Person (High Sensation Seeker) says:

    Dear Ally,

    thanks so much for this article – I feel exactly the same!!!

    On one hand I am happy being with my friends – but on the other hand I connect to myself better when I have more time alone… During this time I get stable and also clear in my mind.

    I had the same topic on my own blog – but it is a German one. It was about having breakfast alone – I had a book with me with poems from a German poet. I sat there and I as well recognize some gazes around me who could say, well, what a pity – why is this nice lady having breakfast alone? Well – the answer is easy: Because I like it 🙂

    Anyway – if you would like to have a look into my blog – here it is.


    On the right-hand side you even can translate it via google into English – but no guarantee that it is translated in a proper manner 😉

    Enjoy your high-sensitivity and take care,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I really enjoyed your post 🙂 I agree, there is nothing wrong with being alone and enjoying yourself. Unfortunately, some seem to think its a bad thing. But I think its quite healthy to enjoy one’s own company. Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sophiaschildren says:

    I enjoyed your post, Ally, and what you’ve described sounds like a common day for me! It never occurred to me for a long time that it would seem odd that I’d walk or go to a cafe or restaurant, etc. solo, until someone mentioned it. I thought, “How horrible that people are afraid to enjoy the pleasure of their own company sometimes!” 🙂

    Like some of the others who’ve commented, I also enjoy ‘quality time’ spent with kindreds, but don’t care for the big-crowd or mall scene if I can avoid it. The riverside (or nature) walks definitely help to balance that out, though, as you wrote!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I totally agree with you. It seems so natural to do things on your own. And it seems so strange that others aren’t comfortable with that. Thanks for sharing 🙂


  6. sensuousamberville says:

    Your comment about feeling rejuvenated walking along the river, having read this post on your blog I of course don’t know, but have you noticed that being by water, a lake, river or even a fountain, can be rejuvenating?

    Floating in a canoe, listening to the water lap against the side or just sitting on a dock and hearing the water do the same is very calming, but it is more than that, it really is rejuvenating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I agree completely with you. I can sit on the shoreline and listen to the ocean for hours. And the feeling of peace and contentment goes beyond simply restoring my energy. Its like its filling some void I didn’t realize I had, rejuvenating is a really good word for it 🙂


      • sensuousamberville says:

        Much better than a crowded store. 🙂

        Remember that, when you feel overwhelmed, a few minutes beside that river, a few deep sighs and all will be well again. Or take the day off and sit beside the ocean.

        Studies have shown why an hsp will take in more “data”, why we will become more overwhelmed with this data, I wonder what the water does, perhaps it is viewing all the empty space above it, that calms.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Chrellie says:

    I have done lots of things on my own for a long time. I would go see a movie by myself if friends were working, and why not? But people thought it weird. I don’t mind the occasional lunch with co-workers but I am around people all day and enjoy when I can go pick up lunch on my own. The only person with whom I do a lot of things and go a lot of places is Boyfriend. While I have introvert and extrovert qualities, he is definitely more introvert, which is great because he understands the importance of having time to yourself. It works for us to do things together, others often complicate things too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      That’s awesome that you have someone who understands the need for alone time 🙂 I’m at work with people all day and often on the weekend too. So I like to take advantage of doing things on my own. I love going to movies by myself, it often works out better that way because you don’t need to coordinate different schedules.


  8. Blues Fairy says:

    You all are very brave! Although I’m the typical introvert, I can’t fathom going out to the movies or dine alone. But maybe that’s due to the depression and has nothing to do with my preferences? Either way, I aspire to do that one day – go somewhere luxurious and just indulge myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      The interesting thing is, I can only do it if I have a lot of energy. Otherwise I’ll just stay home. I’m sure you’ll be able to do it one day 🙂


  9. zappy05 says:

    I love doing everything alone as well! I’m much happier and relaxed when I am doing things alone rather than with others. I’d say my favorite thing to do solo is going to the movies–particularly horror films. It’s so much fun to sit alone in a dark theater while watching a creepy flick! Luckily I love to do this alone since none of my friends or family are into horror films like I am haha.

    Liked by 2 people

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