About a week or so ago I was talking with a good friend of mine and he told me that he really admires the fact that I’m not afraid to do things by myself. Things like going to dinner alone, or going to a movie alone, or going on road trips and vacations alone. I’ve had other people say that to me before, too.
Every time I hear it, I feel a bit like a cheat. Cuz, well, it was never in my plan (you know that “plan” – the one we all have in our minds as to how our lives are going to turn out?) to do all those things alone. In my plan, there was someone there beside me doing those things with me. I wouldn’t have to be by myself and I wouldn’t have to do all the planning and thinking (and paying!) all by myself.
As tends to happen with most of life’s plans, however, that one fell over a cliff pretty early on, and it did not land safely on a soft, sandy beach to be rescued! So, all those things that I do alone, I only started doing alone because I had to. And that’s why I kind of feel like a “cheat” – that I have been lauded for doing something I did only because I had to do it.
But, that said, I have to say that I have come to enjoy doing those things by myself. Partly there’s a selfish reason. When I go to dinner or a movie alone, there’s no discussion as to what restaurant to go to or which movie to see. And when I do a road trip or other vacation on my own, I get to plan the entire schedule! (I have to admit, though, it sure would be nice sometimes to have someone else do some of the work!)
Even more than that, I have just simply come to really enjoy doing those things on my own. There’s a confidence that I have developed in myself that I would not have developed otherwise. My plan crashing over that cliff has forced me to crash out of the box that I had confined myself, and my life, to. It’s definitely a hindsight thing. It’s really important to make use of that rear-view mirror sometimes!
Speaking of which, I hope when you check your rear-view mirror, you find yourself being grateful for the cliff-crashed plans from your life, and can recognize the wonderful ways they forced you to move outside the box and create a wonderful, new plan!