I did an audacious thing today. I ate lunch, by myself, in public, on purpose.
But Wait. WHY?!?
Today, I happened to be in a whole other town, during lunchtime. And having had a rough morning (three words: drivers license renewal) thought I’d like to indulge and treat myself to a served up, delicious meal.
For me, the worst part isn’t the alone part, it’s the everyone-else part. It’s the surprised “Oh, okay” of the host as they take you to your table. It’s catching the curious eye of every server who notices there’s not another place setting waiting to be used. The sympathy and “Why are you dining alone” looks. The awkward I-noticed-you’re-eating-by-yourself-but-don’t-wanna-mention-it conversation you have while ordering. Surely, I am not the only person in this entire place who has ever decided to eat by myself, alone?!
I’m not a HUGE fan of eating alone, I much prefer the company of other humans. But I don’t hate it either. I’m learning the value of quiet, and the value of listening to my own thoughts.
I feel like a venturous woman, undaunted by the social stigma of eating alone.
I eat slowly, enjoying every bite, delighting in every slurp of warm oniony soup. I’m not concerned with anyone around me, I’m simply being present.
It’s an audacious thing to eat alone, but there’s a certain beauty in it. I’m ravenously searching for beauty in all of the unknowns. In the learning unfamiliar hobbies, cooking different meals, growing ANY plants, meeting new people, going to never-been-before places, and learning to eat alone.
Today, I did two of those things. And despite the curious faces of onlookers, I feel richer because of it.