…partie d’un s’il vous plait

diningsolo

Bon jour! This post has arrived much earlier this week–however, I was inspired to share based on the title of the challenge “Raison D’etre”

Over 16 years ago, I discovered the power of 1 when my sister suggested that I attend to the movies alone or try dining alone. Initially, it seemed awkward to attempt. Shouldn’t moments like that be shared? Later, I  realized how important it was for me to get to know me better. Therefore, I set out to accomplish this ‘more than awkward’ feat. albeit I was married with children…is it even a possibility?

In the past, I was used to being accompanied by someone, whether a friend, neighbor, spouse, relative, child–you name it! Anyone but me. I could never seem to “not invite” someone along. It is not that I did not like myself, I enjoy the company of others and the dialogue that it breeds. Nonetheless, I also learned very quickly how familiarity can breed disrespect. I had to tackle the”societe d’un”.  Needless to say I was able to carve out time for myself, whether it was in the wee hours after the husband left for work and the children were still asleep or much later after the kids were put to bed and the husband retired for the evening. As my children grew more independent, it became easier to make time for myself, without feeling “mother’s guilt”. There was always something to be done and I was a strict advovate of attempting to build Rome in a day.

There was a time when I did not prefer my own company and I believe it had a lot to deal with maturity and growing wiser. After being hurt by a particular person that I deemed a “friend”, it was time to live wiser. I was not defined by our friendship and God did not stop creating awesome people. I became a creature of habit and thought—there is no one else like that person. Until I became motivated to seek “that person”. The reason why others deem me to be, understanding or  “wise beyond my years” is not due to any goodness on my own. It was a group project compiled by those who hurt me, a combination of legendary people and God–not in that order.

In my solitude, I began to read my bible and try to understand myself in how God designed us individually. I related to some stories better than others. I desired to be all that I was destined  in my capacity. I used my time more wisely, I became resourceful! I stopped watching tv! I picked up interesting hobbies, volunteering more in my community, like learning a new language, gardening, reading more, blogging, becoming my own personal chef!  It was there where I found me, my true self was just lying dormant. The qualities that drew others to me was there all along. I didn’t “see” what they saw in me because I was so preoccupied of being fascinated by what I was attracted to in them. Instead of beating myself up–which took a few years to undo–it was me who turned out to be the better friend. A loyal, loving, confidant who is adamant about the relationships cultivated and I take excellent care of those I love. Unfortunately, it wasn’t reciprocated at the time, when it came to relationships outside of family. Painful but necessary for personal growth in my opinion based on my experiences.

I was taken advantage of, albeit, I am sure I took advantage of others at some point in my life. Therefore, I might have reaped what I had sown, so to speak. A bitter pill swallowed and many years later, I can proudly proclaim that aside from my family, I am my own best friend. The encourager to others when they need it most, able to encourage even myself if needed. A self-motivator, self-disciplined, truly an asset to anyone who would appreciate legendary efforts. I had to realize that was me! I am ok with not having grown up with a bestie, or someone to share inside jokes or can read my mind without me having to say a word. Why? Because in all things there must be order and a time and place for each.

My loving and patient husband, who is my BFF for life—wise confidant that he is, and there is also my sister but in ways where there is enough of a balance for me. Above all, God is the one true friend that I have always had but never wanted–out of my ignorance–until I surrendered. Others fit in snuggly where they could. I have learned a lot about myself by being by myself. Running across awesome podcasts and literature that allows me to examine myself  more perfectly. Respectfully, I have more peace, less drama. More insight, more wisdom. More time, fewer issues. I actually beat insomnia! I created a better schedule, disconnected at a certain time and now I am able to rise naturally without an alarm clock–never thought I’d see that day coming. I drink tea more, less coffee–even switched to decaf. I appreciate life better with the perspective that I have now. I make time instead of complaining about not having enough. I eliminated toxicity out of my life, from people, to foods, lifestyle changes and all things in between. I am much more content and working toward minimalism in my own signature way.

Time is too precious to “kill”, therefore I use it as wisely and productively as I can. I have learned to wait and realizing the beauty and humor in doing so. The reason behind my smile and why I choose to see the glass half full, ironically stemmed from hurt which justifies the pain that strengthens the core of who I am today.

Now when I walk into a restaurant or cinema,  I can say unashamed, “party of 1 please” and not feel the least bit awkward, lonely or silly about myself. In retrospect and mere observation, the table that I pass on the way to my table, you know the onevthat has the most people gathered at it gazing into their cell phones—just happens to be the loneliest. But this is not because of choice, which is sad.

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