Summer has been a blast so far with plenty of cookouts, concerts and house parties. Everywhere I go I am surrounded by friends and family. I can’t complain. But still there are times when I’m yearning to do something new, or go someplace I’ve never been. When you’re single in the summer (or anytime for that matter), you can’t always wait for invitations; you have to take the initiative and make things happen. I know…I can always invite a friend, but getting someone to tag along isn’t always practical.
When you want an experience bad enough, you may have to go alone. Yikes! you say? For most people, the idea of going anywhere or doing anything alone freaks them out: “If I have to go alone,” they say, “it just isn’t worth it.”
I have to wonder, are their fears about being alone keeping them from a bigger and better life?
When you’re single, you have the choice of either staying home more than you’d like, or getting out there and having fun. I remember the year I started salsa dancing. I was newly divorced and didn’t have a lot of interest in dating, It was really the first time in my life when I preferred to be single, but not a hermit. I took up dancing because I had always wanted to. Occasionally, I could get a friend to go with me, but not always. Most of the time, it was either go alone, or stay home. At the time, going out dancing meant more than just a fun night on the town. I was embarking on a new passionate pursuit, discovering things about myself and building a new lifestyle, one that had me doing something I really loved. Flying solo into a new pursuit was both an adventure and a learning experience. It was an experiment in SELF.
Being single gives you an opportunity to explore a bigger YOU. Along the way, I met more people that I now call friends than I ever have (even in high school). I extended myself in ways I never had before. Not only was I going out socially to dance, but I started taking lessons at a studio and met even more people. Getting involved in dancing was an investment in ME, one that has paid big dividends over the years.
- Dancing sustained me through several not-so-good relationships, reminding me of my value and helping me choose more for myself.
- Dancing pulled me up when I was down. It is still the only surefire thing that can make me completely forget my worries and troubles.
- Dancing motivated me to take good care of myself physically (I don’t think anything or anyone else could do that).
- Dancing was the aspect of myself that taught me how to love ME more than anyone else.
- Dancing became the foundation upon which I built a life of happiness and appreciation.
And even if tomorrow, (for whatever reason) if I can’t dance anymore, I know how to build a life that makes me happy.I learned that by being single.
I never was able to do that as a part of a couple. Being in a couple takes the focus off of ME and puts it on WE. I’m not saying it is impossible, only harder. So I just want to talk about how to take advantage of times when you ARE single; how to make the most of it and come out better for it.
When you are single:
You learn to be okay by yourself. You have to like your own company at least a little. You begin small, identifying the things about yourself that you can like. You learn to smile at your “mistakes.” You forgive and accept the things you’re not so good at. This is “work” in and of itself. You’re more likely to do it alone because you aren’t focused on another’s perceived flaws, or awesomeness. There’s only you.
You have to be willing to learn something new. When you’re single you get a free opportunity to pursue your heart’s desire. You may have been putting it off while paired up, but get to it; it holds important clues about YOU. Learning something new can be tough as an adult, which means you might not be good at it for a while. When I began dancing, I had to give up being “right.” It was a valuable lesson for me to learn; I needed it for ALL areas of my life. It was hard. It took a long time. I’m still working on it. But my “needing to be right and look good” stood in the way of my becoming the kind of person I really wanted to be, so I made up my mind to let it go – best decision I ever made. When you learn to do something you love it can open your eyes to who you really are.
You have to give up your excuses. The main reason that most of us don’t pursue our deepest desires is FLATOUT FEAR!! We make up excuses based on time and money, but as my daughter always says, You make time (money) for the things that really matter to you. There’s no one else competing for this time when you are single other than you and YOU, so give it to yourself. You’re worth it.
You have to be willing to stick your neck out. I hear people say that travelling alone or doing some new activity alone isn’t any fun unless you have someone to share it with. The secret truth that single people have learned is that you have to FIND people to share it with. You enrich and explode your life when you are willing to take risks and meet new friends.
Single person pursuits help you learn to love yourself, appreciate what you have and who you are, believe in yourself, honor yourself and make better choices for you when you are in relationship with others. As a bonus, it teaches you to honor and cherish other people and their pursuits in the same way.
What are your single person pursuits? Either now, or back when you were single. I’d love to hear about them in the comment field below.