A few years ago, I decided to take myself out on a date…on Valentines Day, to one of the nicest places in town. This was a practice I had started years before, to always treat myself on special occasions just as if I were in a relationship.
As I walked into the restaurant, all dolled up wearing my favourite red dress, I approached the hostess to let her know about my reservation. I could tell she couldn’t have been more than nineteen or twenty years old. She had a perky demeanor and favoured the word “like” as if it were going out of style. As she handed me my menu she asked if I was waiting for someone. I smiled and very proudly said, “Nope. Just me!” To which she gasped, hand over her heart, in her very best ‘valley girl’ voice,
“Oh my god! You are SO brave!”
I mustered up a big, unnatural, uncomfortable smile and gave the only response I could in a moment like this, “Awwww, thannnksss!” (Said in my very own, best ‘valley girl’ voice)
After she finally did us both a favour and walked away, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. Brave?? Since when is doing something solo considered ‘brave’? When I think of brave I think of the men and women of our military that lay their lives on the line for our freedom. I think of women giving birth without the assistance of epidural. (Thank the good Lord for Anesthesiologists!)
What is so brave about enjoying your own company? I am a firm believer that if you don’t learn to enjoy your own company then you can’t expect anyone else to either. Which is why I have created this list of things that I believe every woman should do! Every single one of the following are taken from personal experience!
Are you ready to be brave? Here we go!
1). Try Something New
The excitement of trying something for the very first time is exhilarating!
Last year, a new attraction opened up in the area where I live…Zip Lining! I was SO excited! As someone with no fear of heights, I love being up high and taking in a good view so this was something I definitely wanted to try for the first time!
The moment they called my name to go get buckled up in my harness, my insides were doing backflips! I was a little kid at Christmas all over again as the crew counted down and I waited in anticipation for them to give the green light. The gate opened, the last hook that was holding me in place was released and off I went! Flying towards Niagara Falls in mid air! I LOVED IT! It was so freeing to feel weightless for those few moments! No stress…no worries…just butterflies! I definitely want to do Zip Lining over and over again. It’s my new favourite. Next on my list, parasailing and sky diving!
2). Go To The Movies
Before you say no, think about all the perks! You don’t have to ask what someone else wants to see…it’s YOUR choice! You can pick the time you want to go. Ten o’clock at night or three in the afternoon? Sure! Why not?! And most importantly, you can have your favourite theatre snack all to yourself. (get your paws off my chocolate covered raisons!)
Okay, if I’m completely honest, this one took me some getting used to. At first. But now it’s second nature to me. Quite a few years ago, when I lived in another city, there was an authentic, Italian, family owned restaurant across the street from me. I got it in my head one day that I wanted to try it and so I mustered up the courage, figured I had nothing to lose, got dressed up, and walked across the street and asked for a table. They seated me next to a window and it was the best meal I’d ever tasted! I frequented that place so much they knew me by name. I always ordered the calamari (squid)…I was the squid chick. I’ve been restaurant hopping ever since. To ease the process, bring a good book along with you to occupy yourself in between bites!
4). Go To A Concert
Now this one is something I have mastered over the years and is my absolute favourite thing to do. I am a concert junkie! I’ve been to so many shows by myself that it doesn’t even phase me and I get excited about experiencing it all over again each time I go. I’ve had so much fun meeting new people, wandering/exploring around the city before a show and getting inspired every time an artist takes the stage. That moment when everyone is just hanging out, talking etc. in their seat and then BAM! The lights go out and the entire arena erupts in loud shouts and cheering because you know the show is about to start. Gives me goosebumps and butterflies every time!
5). Explore A New City
My first experience with this was Manhattan, New York City. I have a very good childhood friend of mine that lives there and years ago she very graciously invited me to crash at her place for a few days so we could visit and catch up.
This was my first time traveling by myself. She was an excellent hostess and showed me around her magnificent city. The times that she had to work, that’s when I was on my own. A map and my two feet. I think I probably walked half of that island (mostly because I was lost), exploring side street shops and cafes, riding the subway, visiting museums and historical sites etc. It was at that moment that I was bitten by the “travel bug” and I realized exactly how tiny I was in a great big world and it actually felt very empowering that I had “conquered” the Concrete Jungle.
If you’re not able to travel, exploring your own city for the day can be just as exciting. I’ve done it! Old book stores, museums, live music, festivals, restaurants etc. All right under your nose! The world is your oyster!
6). Strike A Pose
While most of us won’t find ourselves on the cover of a magazine or cat walking a fashion runway any time soon, there’s no reason you can’t feel glamorous for a day. It’s not only a great excuse to get dressed up but it’s also a great way to celebrate who you are in this moment in time. Most local photographers have photo packages that will suit even the smallest budgets. It’s a great keepsake to look back on!
7.) Treat Yourself
The thing about being single is that when those “special” dates roll around, like your birthday, Valentines Day, Christmas etc., you’re the odd gal out. Everyone else is exchanging gifts while you’re left hanging out with the family dog or eating take out and watching “Bridget Jones” for the billionth time. (Stop it!)
Some might think it’s odd to buy yourself a present on your own birthday or spoil yourself on Christmas or any given day really, but I think sometimes it’s just nice to feel spoiled or even appreciated. Buy the shoes, the dress (and wear it to that new restaurant you’re going to try out…right?), the new album from your favourite artist, a bouquet of your favourite flower etc. Whatever makes you feel alive…do that! It’s in those little things that can brighten up your day.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’ll be nice to one day share moments like these with that “special someone”. But, until then I’m not going to let my single status cramp my style. And neither should you! I hope this list has perhaps empowered you to go out there and take on the world, or your city, one ‘single’ step at a time.
Go ahead…Be Brave!