A younger colleague was surprised that I was going on holiday by myself. Not joining a tour, not meeting friends, just 12 nights in my own company and conversations with random strangers in bars I will visit. By surprised, I mean a “why on Earth would you want to do that” type of surprised. I genuinely believe she was shocked that I could enjoy eating out by myself. I challenged my colleague to eat out on her own one night. She told me she now has but wouldn’t want to do it again.
I purposely ate on my own a few weeks ago. I was meeting friends a little after, but I went out my way to have lunch on my own. I had a new book, ordered a beer and decided whether to have starters. I’m usually quite amicable when I eat with friends, as are my friends, and we do usually go for starters and main. But eating alone, the decision is all mine. The choice of restaurant, when I eat, how long I stay. It sounds a little selfish and it probably is, but from time-to-time I enjoy the solitude of my own company.
I enjoy the solitude of my own company
My colleague mentioned in this blog is just the other side of 20 whereas I am the wrong side of 35. Her reasons for not enjoying eating alone were mostly ones of being self-conscious that she was alone, assuming people are making negative judgements because she isn’t eating with anyone, even believing people would be feeling sorry for her. I cannot remember what my early 20-something year old self would have thought about eating alone. Would I have been so self-conscious? I’m not sure. I have always enjoyed a beer alone and I do not eating alone as a too much of an extension for it to feel awkward.
I love being around people. I love my family and friends. But sometimes, sometimes I just love my own company and eating alone is one of the best ways to enjoy it.