January 4,2017

The universe has a funny way of bringing us the things we want or need in just the right time. After spending a lot of time with a recent roommate, you would think I would know this to be true and worry less. She had this calm, easy demeanor about her that sometimes drove me crazy. I love her to death for all of the beautiful things she taught me about allowing the world to rotate at its own free will. If anything bad happened to her, or her world was turned upside down, I found myself panicking and almost freaking out more than she. I couldn’t ever figure out how she was so calm, and I would always think to myself, “SHE IS CRAZY”! It never failed though, the universe always brought her a solution. From her, I have began to attempt to utilize this strategy of remaining calm, and letting things happen as they do, because if we cannot control them, they will eat us alive.

Last night, the universe worked in a way that brought me to where I needed to be today. In short, I had one of those late night eating at a breakfast diner til 4 in the morning kind of things. Where the conversation is real and you say how you feel and questions you had suddenly find answers and you start to understand things in a different way. A way other than your own. If anyone knows me, they know I love to talk, I listen when I have nothing to say but man if I have something to say I make sure its said. Last night, I reminded myself to listen, I slipped a few times but was able to sit back and listen to another point of view of things I thought I knew.

I sat in this diner with a smile of content, and happiness, I wasn’t alone and my problems and issues didn’t seem minuscule but together the problems each of us faced were different but brought us to that table for a reason. As I went about my day, I realized, I have never ever sat in a diner by myself or any sit down place by myself at a booth or a table set for one. What a scary, awkward feeling to sit at a booth looking like you’re waiting for someone and thinking man people are looking at my lonely, sad self. But, I’m not here for a pity party, so I made it my goal to compare how I felt in a booth with a friend and how I felt in a booth by myself.

On my way home from work, I passed about 4 places before I finally talked myself into not getting take out, or coming home to make a protein smoothie. I pulled into a new place, I’ve never tried before and sat in my car. Ha, I bet you thought I was fearless enough to get out of my car as soon as I pulled in. I had a million and ten reasons why I should have just drove home to a smoothie. I got out though. Inside this restaurant, I swear they were set out to make sure I knew I was dining for one. I don’t mind the spot light in certain situations, but I do not like being alone and being singled out, stared at or the center of attention. But anyways, it actually wasn’t that bad, just a normal walk to the table. I didn’t worry about what others thought, and man what a feeling that was. Who cares if I am dining alone, its not that big of a deal, right? I mean, to some its not, but for me it is. Its a fear I know I have, I know I cannot be alone in this? 365 opportunities to conquer my fears and on day 4 I’m already jumping hills!

The walk, that was easy. I think the toughest part for me to be alone in loud places is the noise itself. I hear conversation and I immediately want to pick up my phone and call my best friend or my Mom, so I don’t feel totally alone. Today, I just at there. I sat there and took in the moment just as if I was with someone. I practiced mindfulness and scenery awareness. I went over my own emotions in my head and faced them head on. The only difference I felt from being across from someone and being by myself in a booth was the fact that I couldn’t run from my own thoughts. There are appropriate times to put your thoughts away and then there are appropriate times to tackle them. The dinner table by yourself, as you take in the scenery and enjoy a meal may just be the perfect time. Cure your hunger and have mindful conversation with yourself. I promise, as long as you don’t shout out profanity’s at yourself people will never know that you’re working out your emotions and your daily problems up top.

What a great feeling to conquer things, baby steps at a time. I guess, I should mention now that the place I ate at is a very, very small restaurant that doesn’t hold many people. But hey,  baby steps. I will work on bigger more crowded places in the future.

I have a lot of girlfriends who say they won’t go into a place to eat by themselves and sit at a table alone. I can’t say that its the best feeling in the world, but its also not the worse. But who knows, you may fall in love with the absolute freedom and solitude.  If I could challenge all of my girlfriends and even guy friends who struggle with this notion of eating alone in a booth or at a table, I most definitely would. You may be surprised what the mind can accomplish and work through when the only conversation you have is with yourself.

 Enjoy your time alone, you will learn to be happy without seeking validation.– Author Unknown

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