Especially now that I have (for the most part) moved out from home, I have been faced with a lot of tasks that I never really did by myself back when living with my parents.
Apart from general things like grocery shopping, doing laundry or other menial tasks, I now find myself actually spending time by myself when it comes to things like going out to eat, going shopping or hanging out in town. Just a year ago I felt a lot of anxiety when even thinking about having to do something on my own. The thought of going to the cinema by myself or visiting a museum by myself was terrifying to me. I always wanted someone there to make me feel… safe, I guess.
It took quite some time until I was comfortable with being by myself. Take eating at a restaurant alone for example; I was so anxious the whole time I did that for the first time, I barely even enjoyed the food. What helped me were baby steps. I started by going to more casual restaurants / cafés and listening to music or reading a book. When I was in the middle of learning for finals, I started to go out to cafés a lot to work and study there, as I felt I needed to get out of the house. The more I went, the less daunting the experience was.
Now I frequently visit the museums and exhibitions that intrigue me by myself. The pressure of convincing somebody to go with me has completely evaporated along with my fear of doing something by myself. I actually enjoy it more when I’m on my own. For some reason I feel like I connect to the art more when it’s just me because I’m giving it my undivided attention.
Moving past my fears and just doing things because I want to has been so rewarding and freeing. Instead of constantly worrying I just do and experience. The more time I spend with myself, the more comfortable I feel with myself. I am proud that I approach tasks head-on. Through all of my struggles, I finally feel like I have become more in touch with myself.
The more I grow up and evolve, the more have I learned that you should cherish that time you spend by yourself, with yourself – especially when you’re in the midst of figuring your life out. It is on those days when I am in my own company, forced to confront issues and problems, that I truly accomplish personal growth.