Solo But Not So Strange

A few weeks ago, I decided to try something new and different. I felt a need to just get out. I had been cooped up in my tiny apartment long enough and needed some excitement. One thing that I noticed was that I'm constantly running into the remnants of my two dead plants in my apartment. Yes I love flowers, but love them even more when they’re withered. They don’t really feel or look dead to me – they’re still beautiful, just in a different way. Weird, I know. Symbolically, it was time to get a new plant, but it was more so stepping out and purchasing one. Little did I know that that time would soon come!

I randomly logged onto Living Social and started scrolling through the activities list. I thought, "I'm going to do something!" Nothing caught my eye until I saw an ad for Plant Nite. How timely and strangely ironic! I never heard of Plant Nite before but I saw green, wine, and an amethyst stone in the mix so I was sold. Without thinking, I purchased my voucher and was super excited! I hit up a few friends who I thought would be interested but somehow, our schedules refused to align. Do I wait until I can find another partner or just go by myself? More specifically, do I drag someone else who wouldn’t normally go/be interested or go by myself and risk being awkward and/or invisible and potentially hating the entire experience? To be honest, the thought of both weren’t very appealing and have ended badly more times than not.

I went back and forth with myself about it for… a day haha! I then decided that I’m not waiting on anybody else to do something that I want to do! I am all I need and will not miss out on this opportunity. I may be socially awkward, but I’ve been itching to do more solo excursions over the past several months anyways. It’s so awesome doing things with friends, but I also need to be able to enjoy my own company and meet new people; after all, I am looking for my home.

So I booked it the following Thursday night without following up with anybody and went by myself! I parked, took three deep breaths and walked in AWKWARD AS ALL HELL, haha. I immediately made my way to the bar after signing in to scope out the environment. The Plant Nite host stopped me in my tracks to let me know that I could order at the tables and to grab a seat. Mission foiled. Naturally, I looked around and went towards the seat where no one else was sitting. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the company of their friends and not too aware of anything else. So I picked my seat and smiled nervously at whomever I made eye contact with. Lucky for me, another woman came by herself and welcomed me to sit by her.  She was a delight, very friendly. Soon I felt super comfortable in my awkwardness and started having fun talking to everyone at the table, which ended up filling up shortly after.

Plant Nite was so much fun! The best decision I’ve made in a while - stepping out of comfort zone in a new environment by myself. It's also cool to know that succulent plants are thicker and retain water more than regular plants. They only need water about once a week, require minimal light, and can last for multiple years! So it should take a bit of time before I see its withered leaves. Not sure if that means anything specific to me or not but the whole experience was super dope! The only downer was that it ended at about 8:15 PM and I didn’t want to go back to my empty apartment. I just had created such a dope assortment of stones in my succulent terrarium and wanted to continue my high. I asked a few friends who lived in the area if they wanted to go to one of the nearby bars. They were all busy. So now, do I go home or go to the bar by myself?

On to destination #2 of course! I walked two blocks to a bar I frequent in hopes of continuing stride of patronizing new places by myself and meeting new people. I looked around and soon realized it was still pretty early and empty. I had no intention of staying out too late since I had to go to work the next day. After about 20 minutes of walking around not trying to stick out like a sore thumb, I said, "fuck it," took my seat to at bar and ordered a drink! I made it this far so I might as well live in the moment. For some reason, even though I didn’t talk to anybody other than the bartenders, I was oddly happy. I felt creative and full. So many Ideas were coming from every direction for new paintings, posts, and projects! My notes section in my phone tried to keep up lol.

In those moments, I realized what lesson I needed to learn that night. I enjoyed my own company and thoughts. I was enough. My presence was enough. I didn't need anybody else to be happy and in the moment. That’s all I was really looking for that night. I didn’t even realize that more people had come until I left for home about an hour and a half later. I was in my own world paying attention to no one but my thoughts. Although I was solo, I wasn’t so strange (at least in my opinion haha). I didn’t feel sad or out of place. That night, I really liked myself – my awkwardness, my new plants, my filled notes section, and my quirky encounters. I was proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something for myself on my own time.

I gained something better than meeting a guy or new friends. I saw my own growth. Honestly, this time last year, I probably would’ve have left or cried in the bathroom. My social anxiety was, and sometimes still is, just that bad. It has stopped me from many opportunities in the past. For years I tried to be “less strange” and even stopped going out and doing new things unless I had a friend with me to make me feel more confident. I created my security blanket and comfortably wore it like a cloak of honor. I’ve been trying to break out of that codependency and fear to be more self-assured in my skin.

It took me a long time to accept that I will always be awkward/strange to some degree and that there is absolutely nothing’s wrong with that lol. That night was confirmation that I’m focusing less on how others perceive me and more about how I feel/show up in the moment and groove in my own vibes. My tribe will stumble into my life soon enough, but it starts with me and what I give off.

So will I continue to go to bars by myself? No, probably not too often, haha. But will I continue to step out of my comfort zone and embrace myself? Hell yeah, as much as possible!