Go to any city in the world on a Friday night and you will likely see one of two things: teeming crowds out for dinner and drinks, or individuals taking advantage of solo nights at home. I tend to be part of the latter set of people. Some might think we’re a lonely bunch, but there’s something very fulfilling about kicking it with your number one: yourself.
I was at brunch this weekend catching up with a friend and we both talked about our Friday night plans. I mentioned that I went to go see the new Jason Bourne movie, solo (and hilariously dozed off at a certain point). When she asked me why I went alone, I told her it was because I genuinely wanted to hang out — alone. And really, we should all want to do this sometimes without feeling as though it’s such a peculiar thing.
The interesting part about this is the fact that I had invitations to actually go out with a few different people, but I chose to hang out by myself. I’m incredibly candid, and like to think of myself as friendly enough. I make new friends easily and never really have had an issue with having plans for a Friday night, whether it’s a bar crawl or dinner with my confidantes. This past Friday, however, I thought it would be nice to spend time by myself, doing something I really enjoy that I wouldn’t have to compromise on for the sake of making someone else feel comfortable. I wanted to check in with myself.
There’s something to be said about the confidence that goes into enjoying your own company. While most people tend to bill this sort of thing as being sad and lonely, I disagree. Some of the most fun I’ve had has been during my solo expeditions on weekends. I find that I’ve discovered a lot about my neighborhood and even the city of New York as a whole on unaccompanied adventures.
I remember standing in line recently to go kayaking. It looked like the line to get into Noah’s Ark – everyone two by two. As I got to the front and requested a single kayak, the attendant was shocked and asked if I’d ever done this before. I had, to which he seemed even more shocked compared to the fact that I was going to go it alone. I get the same reaction when I go to dinner by myself and try a new restaurant. I’ve been kayaking, seen a ballet, been roller-skating, gone on one of those cheesy bus tours and even struck up great conversations with fellow bike riders, all by myself.
Enjoying solo time is crucial to my happiness. You’re not tied to another person’s agenda for the day, and being alone gives you time to learn and experience things you may otherwise not get the chance to. It frees you from social expectations and distractions, and if anything, gives you a bit of a reprieve from the daily interactions of our lives. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy spending time with my friends immensely, but I will always cherish my solo dinner and movie dates with myself. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
What are some activities you do by yourself? Are you more comfortable spending time with other people or by yourself?