I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m living inside a snow globe this week. My picture-perfect sunny winter’s day in Corbridge at the weekend seems like forever ago already.
And it’s my trip to Northumberland that has sparked the idea for this week’s column, as I want to talk about the pursuit of doing things…alone.
A lifestyle change
Since splitting from my ex 18 months ago (can it be that long already…?) I’ve had to adapt to being on my own again. And it’s been hard. This other person was a big part of my world for almost eight years, and it’s been daunting to wake up every day since and realise, it’s just me.
It’s noticeable in the day to day things, from the weekly food shop and cooking dinner, to having someone to talk to when I get home from work, and saying ‘night night’ as I snuggle up in bed.
But where it’s become most apparent is when I want to do ‘stuff’; visiting a new restaurant that’s opened in town; booking a city break after EasyJet randomly announces a sale; or venturing out in the early hours to catch a glimpse of the Northern lights after BBC Look North yet again promises they’ll be visible…
The spontaneity of doing all these things with someone has disappeared. And my life now revolves around my diary, because it’s all about planning ahead. Texting friends and family to see who is free and when, and marrying up different activities with different personalities.
But sometimes, no matter how much I try to take control and schedule things in, I can still find myself on my own. Everyone else has their own lives too; and the majority of my friends are in relationships, getting married, busy with their own hobbies or eagerly awaiting the arrival of their bump…
So, this year, I decided to reclaim my independence and my life as a 30-something single woman. And stop relying on others for my personal fulfilment.
I went to the cinema on my own for the first time to see The Greatest Showman the other week (how amazing is the soundtrack, by the way?). And let’s be honest, once you’re in your seat and the lights dim, the cinema is very much a solitary experience anyway.
I also went out for a meal, followed by a trip to the theatre, all by myself. The waiter seemed more attentive than usual and he thought I was in the city on a business trip. Indicative of people’s presumptions, I guess…
And then last weekend, I decided to hop on the train to Corbridge for the day. And you know what, it was all fine. I didn’t feel as self-conscious as I was expecting. If anything, I made more of an effort to chat to random people and appreciate my surroundings. (And I could Instagram my lunch to my heart’s content!)
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to share an experience with friends, or a partner. And that’s something I would always prefer – and do crave. But just because I don’t have someone by my side, it doesn’t mean I can’t do any of these things on my own, for me – and my enjoyment alone.
Do you find it hard to do things spontaneously, by yourself? Share your comments below!
Until next time,