Recently I attended a Comic Book Convention by myself and, on top of being able to indulge in my geekdom, I really just enjoyed being there on my own. I know to some it might sound uber lonely to go to a Comic-Con (or any deemed social event) by yourself, but it was something I wanted to do and didn’t want to miss just because I couldn’t get someone else to go.
The perks of adventuring out alone are not a new revelation for me, but this was the first time I rolled solo-dolo in a minute and served as a reminder.
Lately I’d been living according somebody else’s schedule, something I promised myself I wouldn’t do anymore. I spent the majority of my life following others but now have become about leading for myself (whether anyone follows or not).
When I was still in school, it was like me and my friends were all on this award winning sitcom together. But graduation was the series finale and everyone began getting their own spin-offs. Except me, I was just a reoccurring character/guest star on everyone else’s show. If I wasn’t taking part in what a friend had going on, I wasn’t really doing anything of interest. (Am I the proverbial Kel to my friends’ Keenan?) I was feeling dejected that I wasn’t living my life the way I wanted to. Things have changed for the better in recent years and I have my own show now! (Netflix original series type good) But, for whatever reason, the couple of months prior to the convention I found myself prescribing to another person’s schedule.
So I had to break free.
I could have invited friends with me but none in my immediate vicinity are really about that geek life and (knowing how I am) I would have been constricted by my need to ensure they’re fully enjoying themselves. Odds are I probably wouldn’t have stayed all day or engaged in the conversations I did. I tend to be more social and meet new people when I go places by myself. Often when out with others, I sacrifice my own enjoyment for the sake of a friend’s. Not that that’s inherently a bad thing, compromise can be a beautiful thing, but sometimes I just need to be free and do what I want to.
In similar fashion, I often go see movies by myself too. Not because I can’t find someone to go with, but because sometimes I’d rather watch it myself. Or maybe I’m dead set on seeing it at a certain date/time (I really like matinees) and don’t feel like bending to somebody else’s schedule and preferences.
It’s perfectly fine to go places by yourself and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things as a group but sometimes if you want to be free to enjoy it the way you want to, you just have to go it alone. I don’t intended to sound like I’m selfish and leave my friends out of fun adventures, that’s not the case. I have interest that many people I know do not, so I’d rather not drag them along. I’ve missed out on far too much in my life waiting on someone else, and I’m not really trying to do that anymore.
I know doing things with other people can greatly enhance your experience, but it can detract from it as well. Ever had someone rush you through your favorite store? Talk about how stupid they think your favorite movie is? Apply that same thinking to literally anything else. So if you can’t find somebody that is on your same wave length, would you rather go with someone who would complain/be judgmental the whole way or by yourself?
So I say, if you really want to do something, just do it. Don’t feel constricted that you need to have someone there with you. If you want to go see a movie, go see it. Been dying to try out a restaurant but can’t find someone to join you? Go by yourself. Nothing weird about enjoying a meal by yourself, most people do. In the home vs in a restaurant is truly no different. You can miss out on a lot waiting on someone else to give you the OK to experience life.
Last point. I have a cousin who missed out on Prince’s last performance because he couldn’t find someone to go with him. Now he’ll never have the chance to see Prince live again and it eats a him, don’t be him, just make it a solo mission. Life is not a tandem bike, you pedal through it on your own, so don’t feel like you always need someone else to enjoy a ride.