Recently, I flew from KC to Dallas for a day. I landed in Dallas at 8am and headed to pick up my rental car. The nice man working the desk at the rental car company asked the usual question of if I was in town for the day for business (as he could see I would be returning the vehicle and hopping on a flight home that evening).
“Nope! Just for fun!” I said to him.
Looking around, he replied, “Alone?”
Seeing his confusion forming, I told him I had decided to enjoy an exhibit at the art museum that was in Dallas for a short time and that I didn’t have any friends who would enjoy it that could make the trip. He was still a little put off and at the end of the conversation he wished me to have a good day but added “maybe bring someone with you next time!”.
Our interaction was very nice, by the way. He was kind and just making conversation with me while he processed my paperwork, but it really got me thinking about the perception we place on someone that is doing something ‘alone’. For one thing, we have it somewhat wired in our systems that ‘alone’ means ‘lonely’. I honestly had one of the best days of my life (top 5 at least) that day doing things that I truly enjoyed. I walked around downtown Dallas drinking coffee, enjoyed the most amazing Dior exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, and happened upon a violinist in the Dallas Love airport who played contemporary tracks using a loop that blew my mind. I read a great book, Still Me by Jojo Moyes, while listening to him play for a few hours before boarding my flight home. Every one of those moments was spent doing something I enjoy. I love to spend time with the people in my life, but being relaxed and confident around others starts by being comfortable in your own skin and on your own.
Being the homebody that I am, I do prefer the moments to myself over those spent in crowds. However, I can appreciate both for the experiences they are. My day in Dallas was a fantastic way for me to recharge my batteries and reconnect with myself in a way that I haven’t been able to in a long time. Taking time for yourself does great things for your mental health. Sometimes you just need a day!
Do something today that you love. That you enjoy. And do it simply for yourself.