I had plans recently with a friend to go out for dinner. It was a Saturday night and we both had had a busy week: we decided that we just needed to celebrate. My friend came down with a bad cold, however, so we postponed our plans. But I realized as I sat in my bed that day, soaking in the midday humidity, that I still wanted to go out and do something new. Why not take myself for a date?
I used to be afraid of being seen alone in public. Although I gain a lot of energy from time spent by myself, I would never have thought to go see a movie or eat at a restaurant without friends by my side. I'd project my own insecurities onto other people. "They'll think I have no friends!" "They'll think something is wrong with me!"
As I get older and grow more comfortable in who I am and how I want to be in this world, I recognize the value in taking myself out on a date. It's fun, and ladies, it's frankly the best dating advice you'll ever get. Why would you worry about how you present yourself to a potential kiss when you can relish in the opportunity to do exactly what you want to do for a day?
I biked to a park close to my house and watched an outdoors concert in the setting sun before grabbing a bite to eat at a Cuban spot. It was perfect. I left the symphony show when I felt like it, ate exactly what I was craving, and got to be back in bed by 9 (I am, at heart, 80 years old).
If there is something that you've been wanting to do but haven't because you don't have a friend whose interested, do it anyway. Check out the art exhibit you'd love to see. Go on that hike you've been meaning to take all summer. It's fun to do things with those we care about. And sometimes, that means doing things by yourself (because you're someone worth caring about!) When we're always waiting on other people to make the decision for us about whether or not we seek out a new experience, we lose the opportunity to explore the simple pleasure of being present with ourselves. There's so much beauty to be had; let's go chase it, both with others and on our own.