Thursday, February 12, 2015

Internal Qualifications

Whenever I'm in another city alone, I have no problem taking myself out to dinner by myself. I remember one notable time when I was in Chicago for a work event at the end of a long week. With no dinner plans with anyone and money to spend on a meal, I marched myself to a nearby nice restaurant, sat in a large booth (where they seated me) and dined on seared salmon over asparagus, drank an exquisite glass of Pinot Noir and bumped my head to the performing jazz ensemble in the middle of the restaurant. I was completely alone there and it didn't bother me at all that people were taking note of that girl and her fine-dining for one at a popular downtown restaurant on a Friday night.

Why didn't this bother me? Because I had already internally qualified it.

I was in a big city I love, on a Friday night, with my extensive work week behind me and 2,000 miles from my house. What was I gonna do? Not go to dinner? No way!
 
It's amazing how that 'conversation' in my head rationalized my solo meal without any hint of embarrassment. However, if that were here in Portland, I would definitely feel differently. That's not to say that I don't go to places by myself or enjoy my own company. But, in my hometown, would I walk into a popular, loud, expensive, nice restaurant on my own and sit there content to eat and drink alone? No, I wouldn't. And if I did for some reason, I'd probably feel dumb.

Nevermind the fact that the people in Chicago had not been privy to my internal dialogue thus rendering my 'reasons' for being alone 'okay' by society's standards. Nevermind the fact that they had no way of knowing I wasn't a local. And nevermind the fact that any Portlanders I would sit near wouldn't know that I was from here. I would know. I get the difference. Thus, it would embarass me.
 
This, my friends, is crazy. The issue at hand really doesn't have to do with restaurants or eating out but more so the ability that we have to talk ourselves out of things based on expectations that we not only set for ourselves, but that no one else has any way of knowing. I would imagine that it inhibits me from doing a lot of things that I would otherwise do. Why are so many things off-limits because of this & this expected of me? Why am I loser if I do something in this context but not in another with no obvious differences?

It's an unanswerable question but one that I'd like to have more in the forethought of my mind. I want to do things because I want to do them and not be brought down by my internal dialogue.

Besides, I had a d*mn good time at that meal alone.

16 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

lol well if you are a damn good time, go for it. What 99.99% of the 7 billion or so people on that planet think of us is irrelevant. So sometimes we just have to tell our brain to shut up and go with it, fool or not.

Kelsey & Kenecha said...

You go girl! I would love to travel and go out and eat alone. Seems so peaceful and fun!! :)
Beautiful first photo x

http://floralsandsmiles.blogspot.ca/
twitter.com/floralandsmiles

PorkStar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PorkStar said...

It's so good having a good meal by yourself and not sharing... !!!

Besides, lady C, no one else is going to be paying for your meals or your rent or your travels or for them to know why you are hanging out by yourself. So definitely enjoy being by yourself when you are away from home or away from the husb. It's no one else's business if you are having a ball all by yourself.

Often times I too have a ball by myself, but for some reason people think the wrong thing when I mention it....

ha!

BLovedBoston said...

I totally agree - I can't even tell you the number of times I've talked myself out of something just for fear of what other's would say...more power to you!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

Camila Faria said...

I love to take myself out, to the movies, to a great cup of coffee... but not for dinner. I guess I never had dinner in a restaurant all by myself. That's gotta change sometime!

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Madame Daria said...

nice pics !

www.madamedaria.blogspot.com

Jax said...

The fact that you even travel alone for work is a HUGE thing. I have never gone to a restaurant solo whether local or not. I can rock starbucks alone as long as I am buried in a book or a project. Once again, what's the difference?? You're right! It's in our brain and it's silly. Besides, being alone makes someone more approachable and could lead to a new friendship.

Jodi said...

I would never go to a nice restaurant alone! I feel so bored and lonely to eat alone. Now a movie I'm good on the alone thing! I have gotten better and will now sit at a bar and order a drink while waiting for a friend. In the past I would have waited in the lobby! Haha

Elle Sees said...

yes!! to this!! this was he biggest struggle i've had. this weekend, i'm heading to WDW alone and i'm completely fine with it.

Jessica said...

I think that's good to do some things alone, like you did! =)

NEW POST on http://whattostyle.blogspot.com/

xoxo,
Jessica

Michael D'Agostino said...

I hear you ;) One of my happy moments is when I took a trip to the Gold Coast with my Gang. I wanted to take a day trip to Brisbane, but nobody else did, so I decided to just go myself. It was amazing.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Great food for thought, and I'm glad it was great food. Plus I'm glad I found your blog.

I ate out alone in fairly nice eateries, and those were some of my most enjoyable meals.

Cheers.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love this post. I travel a lot for my job and I eat at restaurants by myself all the time and it's never bothered me for a second!

Kara said...

When I was younger my dad used to take himself out for chinese by himself about once a week. I used to think that was sad! My daddy all by himself!! But as an adult I absolutely understand why he loved this weekly habit - it's so relaxing.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I don't mind going out to eat alone at all. I always have a book with me, and I'm happy to just chill out too. In my hometown and also out of town.

I prefer to go to the movies alone in any town. LOL

I'm definitely more comfortable doing stuff alone in my late 30s than I was in my early 20s. I enjoy my company more than a lot of other people. LOL