Now, I've spoken about this before, but I have zero qualms about doing things alone. I've actually come to enjoy it, and look forward to times when I don't have anyone else to worry about but myself. So seven hours on my own was no problem at all; I walked around lower downtown Denver a bit, watched the game, and then did some writing while I waited for Christina to finish up. It was lovely!
So I got to thinking -- why are people so afraid to go out and do things alone? I've been doing stuff like this forever; when I was in eighth grade, I went to sleepaway camp without knowing anybody, so pretty much nothing phases me anymore. But it's hard to take the plunge for the first time! So here are some of my tried-and-true tips to make that initial step less painful!
1. Do something you really enjoy. It's hard to drum up enthusiasm to do something you're only lukewarm about, especially when you're not with someone to help you get excited. But if an opportunity comes up that you know you'll regret if you don't do it... DO IT, regardless of company. Chances are, you'll either make friends or enjoy yourself so much that you'll forget you're alone. I went to the London 2012 Olympic Games by myself (cross-Atlantic flight and all), and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made! I had an absolute ball and not once did I ever feel any loneliness.
2. Do something that doesn't require socializing. Have you ever seen a movie solo? The whole point of going to a movie is to sit there, in the dark, not talk to people, and be entertained. Other people are so not necessary! Bonus: you don't need to worry about a companion judging you for crying too much. (Listen, the Hunger Games is a tearjerker!) Same goes for sporting events, museums, etc. If you appreciate what you're there to see, you don't really want to be distracted anyway!
Those snazzy leopard-print seats didn't care how much I cried when Rue died.
3. Bring things to occupy yourself. Even I feel awkward sitting by myself in public with nothing to do. It's totally cool to bring a notebook, something to read, your iPod, or even just apps on your phone to keep you from twiddling your thumbs and drowning in awkward solitude. But just try to remember to occasionally look up and appreciate the moment you're in. Don't try to totally escape it. People-watching is pretty stellar.
4. Be your own friend. Man, you don't need anyone else to make you happy or do cool things! Be that person for yourself! Enjoy your own company, because I am sure you are an absolute delight. Do what makes you happy -- and let me tell you, it's incredibly liberating to know you can do what you want to do, whenever you want to do it!
5. Remember that nobody cares if you're alone. All those strangers you think are judging you? Yeah, well, they're not. At all. The real world isn't high school. And if someone is judging you, that's their damn problem for being so concerned with someone else's business. But 99% of the time, strangers barely give you a passing thought. So stop caring about them more than they care about you! And hey, at that Rockies game, there were two guys in my immediate vicinity that were also there by themselves... so just look around a little bit, and I guarantee you won't be unusual in your solitude!
I mean, honestly, look at all these people paying SO MUCH attention to me! /sarcasm
It may take some practice, but soon enough you'll be venturing out alone like a pro! Rip the Band-Aid and eventually you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. :)