Posted on April 12, 2014
On: Going Solo
“We are all alone, born alone, die alone…”–Hunter S. Thompson
There are people who can’t even take a piss alone and then there’s me. Seriously, when girls go in groups to the bathroom together, that’s a prime example. Sure, sometimes they are going in to talk about people or borrow stuff from each others’ purses, but it’s mainly a loneliness thing.
It’s like the people you see entering Dollar General. You know what I’m talking about. You will see 6 people walk in and when they walk out, one person in the group is carrying one bag. They all went in together because they can’t stand to be alone.
Or the stranger who bothers you at the bus stop or in the checkout line. They just could not stand the idea of being quiet and not talking to someone for a few minutes.
I’m thinking about this because tonight I went to the movies…alone. This is not unusual for me. I’ve gone to movie theaters solo many times over the last 14 years. I also go to restaurants alone, bars alone, walks alone and events alone. I’ve been the person who has walked past you at an amusement park when the ride operator yells, “any single riders?”. That’s like the main perk of being alone, by the way. I take trips alone. Long trips. I’ve been to many different states alone. I assume, at some point in my life when I can afford it, I’ll travel abroad…alone.
There are some people who never leave the town they grew up in. Some pass up amazing college opportunities because they have to attend an university that their friends are going to. I could not imagine imposing such a small life on oneself.
Yes, I do enjoy doing things with other people. It is enjoyable to share a wonderful movie or meal with a friend, lover or family member. However, this does not always happen. You shouldn’t withhold opportunities from yourself because you would have to go alone.
That type of thinking reminds me of women who can’t wear or do a certain thing until they lose weight. It’s a mental block.
I have severe social anxiety. I’m also autistic. Sometimes people don’t believe me when I actually admit either of those things. They make friendships difficult for sure. They make me insecure. They make me question whether or not I should even ask friends to do things with me. What if they reject me? But when I do get up the nerve and they do reject me, should I punish myself? Absolutely not.There were times in my life when I could not leave the house for days. There was a period of time in my life in which I suffered from selective mutism (not that I knew what that was at the time). I’ve lost enough time and experiences due to those issues.
There is also the occasion that I want to do something no one else is interested in. Dragging someone else to a crowded musical with me when they really don’t want to see it would not be ideal. Sure, it’s awkward when you are waiting on something like that to start and groups of people are congregated and I’m…ALONE. But guess what? I CAN DO WHAT I WANT.
I’ve been insulted many times by people, mainly men (who, guess what I’ve tended to notice, are much more likely to go places alone), who ask me rude questions. “Are you waiting for someone?” “No” “Don’t you have a boyfriend” “No” or if I do and say “Yes, he’s just not with me”, they will tell me that there’s something wrong with my relationship. “You’re here all by yourself?” “Don’t you have any friends?” “What is wrong with you?”. There’s occasionally even pity, “poor Mary”. No, not poor Mary.
I’ve done lots of stuff. I have great stories. I’ve had many adventures. I intend to have many, many more.
I’m sure that many will be alone. That’s okay. In fact, sometimes it’s even preferable.
To put it more nihilistic-ally, the truth is that, in the end you can really only depend on yourself.