I’ve always been afraid to go places alone. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched too many crime shows. I knew a guy in college who always used to go places alone, and I thought it was strange. Then again, it’s one thing to be a guy alone out in public than a woman alone in public.
Post college, I’ve found it hard to find people to hang out with. My college friends have all gone their separate ways and have their own lives. When we do try to hang out, our schedules typically don’t align. So, I find myself spending most of my time alone. I don’t mind it. In fact, I find it liberating. I’m an introvert by default, so going to college and being surrounded by people all the time was a lifestyle shock to me. Eventually I got used to it, though I wasn’t very happy. Although I’ve battled with depression my entire life, I’ll openly admit that I was more depressed in college than I’ve been in my entire life. It’s also the time in my life I was most social.
Truth be told, I enjoy being by myself. I’m most happy when I’m alone with my cat, laptop, and a good book. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy going places too. I love going out to eat, to amusement parks, and on vacations. Yet, those aren’t things single women typically do by themselves.
The one place this last year I’ve found myself going to by myself is the library, because I feel safe there. You typically don’t hear about bad things happening to people at the library (okay, I’m sure there’s at least one Criminal Minds episode where…I’ll stop there). Libraries are tranquil, peaceful, and usually quiet places to read and write. I like libraries, and it’s not unusual to see someone sitting in a chair reading a book alone as opposed to at a restaurant.
Many writers do write and eat at restaurants alone, though, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s more commonly seen in big urban areas on the east and west coasts, where many writers migrate to. It’s not so commonly seen here in the Midwest. But why does it matter what looks people give me? If I want to go out to eat, I can, and I can do it alone. There’s no law against going out alone, after all.
Today, I went to a place called Ted’s Coney Island alone and ordered a gyro. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my laptop with me, so I couldn’t do anything brilliantly productive, but I definitely scoped out a perfect potential writing location.
So I think I’m going to do it. I’m going to go places alone, and I’m going to start writing in public more. Maybe I’ll actually get some serious writing accomplished, for once. It’s time to get over “being afraid” of being alone in public.
I’m alone, and I’m proud. Besides, who knows, maybe I’ll meet a fellow single, hunky writer in a coffee shop one day, eh?
Hey, Meredith Grey met Derek Shepherd when she was alone in a bar. (And then he died…)