Here's the thing though. I'm not very good at waiting. Patience might be a virtue, but it isn't really one of mine. Hashtag understatement. I'm hopelessly always
On Saturday I learned a new reason why I don't like waiting - it makes me nervous. I thought to myself: I could just stay here and do yoga in my apartment. What if the class is cancelled for whatever reason and I go all the way there just to turn around? What if I feel awkward being the only English speaker without Kelsi and Mandi there with me? What if I cannot figure out how to walk to the restaurant I want to go to for lunch without getting lost in between the twists and turns of Cali neighborhoods?
THIS IS RIDICULOUS. Here I am claiming to be this honest, independent, free-willed, 24-year-old woman and I can't even go to yoga and lunch by myself. That's it. I have to go now. If only to prove to myself that I can. (Patience might not be one of my virtues, but you bet that determination damn well is.)
And so I went. I showed at 10:00 AM for a 10:15 class to find a locked door and no lights on in the studio. I knew it!! Why did I convince myself that this was a good idea? Then a woman in her car on her cell phone asks if I am there for class. I say yes and she explains the teacher is on her way. Minutes later the teacher shows up, we all go inside, and enjoy a wonderful yoga class with only the five of us. Afterward, the teacher asks how long I have been in Cali, what I do here, etc. Since there are only five of us, we exchange names and stories before parting ways. (Note to self: Introduce yourself to the people you are going to be sweating next to for the next two hours and it makes yoga class much more personal.)
Then I walk myself straight out the door and through the streets of Cali - two blocks uphill and one very giant staircase later and I have reached the next neighborhood without having to go the long way around via the river. Success! Now for some lunch....
The time is 12:30 PM now. Turns out the Liberia Nacional, my lunch spot of choice because we have all been wanting to try it, does not open until 1:00 PM on Saturdays. Awesome. I consider just throwing in the towel and walking to the Subway on the river road. And I almost do. But can you really count it as a solo date if you take yourself to Subway? I think not, so here I am waiting again. I took out my iPod and caught up on the blogs I read - namely the latest headlines from MLB and Twins blogs.
At 1:00 PM I went in, feeling quite awkward that they literally just opened and here I am for lunch 30 seconds later. I proceed to browse the shelves for 10 minutes before my hunger won out, and I sat down to lunch at a table for two. I totally wanted to sit in one of the four person comfy-looking booths but felt as though that might draw more attention to my solo-ness. Maybe next time. So I sat there, ate my chicken/apple/candied walnut/blue cheese salad and drank my frappucino. I read a bit of my book, I'm A Stranger Here Myself, about a man returning to live in the United States after spending 20 years in England. I laughed out loud to myself at the funny parts. I reflected on what it will be like for me to live back in the United States after three full years of just visiting. I people-watched and made up stories in my head about what their lives are like. I didn't check my email. I didn't text anyone. I didn't make conversation with anyone besides the waiter. I didn't try to fit in my bites of food around the flow of conversation.
At home later that day I told Kelsi all about my solo date - how I almost didn't go and then realized how silly that was because it was awesome! I realized that while I love to spend time with the people I love and care about, I also love spending time with me. I realized that I don't do that as often as I need to because I am scared of feeling lonely. In a world of constant connectedness and communication, I am still scared of feeling lonely without another person there in the flesh.
Now I get it. This is why I am so busy. This is why I go to bed every night
It's 2012 and we're all busy people. We like being busy. The busy is what helps us lead full, happy, successful lives. The busy comforts us and reminds us that we are needed and cared for. That people love us and want to spend time with us.
But the busy is always what makes us stressed out, tired, exhausted, rundown, frustrated, impatient, worried, etc. And at 24 years old, I am not ready to make a commitment to a life that looks like that more often than not. I do not ever plan to list "frantically busy" amongst my best qualities, but instead I would like to say I arrive as a whole, rested, relaxed person to each new endeavor. That transition is probably going to take a million little baby steps, but it is one I feel 100% committed to for my life. In order to be the best me I can be, the best friend, daughter, sister, teacher, girlfriend, granddaughter, cousin, and godmother I can be - something's gotta give, you know? So for me, in 2012 that thing that's gotta give, or in this case gotta go, is my habit to be busy all the time and thus spread myself so thin that each thing or each person gets a second-rate version of me.
Cause I just spent a day with the first-rate version of me, and she's pretty awesome. :)
Now, excuse me while I go on a lunch/movie date with Kelsi - because every good solo date/solo day/solo time leads to a better adventure with the people we love.