Solo Baring

When you’re single, life can be a total adventure. Whether you’re newly single or have been alone for quite some time now, the fact of the matter is, you’re far more open to crazy things happening to you than those locked down by love. I mean, think about it. When you’re single you just simply tend to invite more excitement into your life due to the fact that… Well.. you’re single. Maybe you’re trying to make more friends or maybe you’re really looking to meet that special person… again. Either way, when situations arise, you’re all over it because the possibilities of something coming out of it are endless. When you’re there’s no one you have to take into consideration. No one you have to ask “permission”. As a single, you pretty much make your decision right then and there and more often than not, a single person will be down for anything. Hell, what better way to meet people than to dive head first into an adventure, no?

Sometimes it’s our friends that allow opportunity for adventure. Or maybe it’s our family and fellow co-workers who provide us with a good situation to mix and mingle. I find that when I look at all the adventures I have found myself in in the past, the motivating factor was usually boredom. Boredom can be a great motivator for many things. For singles, boredom could even be borderline dangerous.

Just in the last few weeks have I started going out and about solo. Don’t get me wrong. I was always Ok with going to the mall, dinner, or a movie by myself. I like me and I don’t mind having to be my own company. What I was never used to do was going out to the bar and having a few cocktails by myself. I not only felt like it heightened the probability of something bad happening to me but I felt that it would just feel weird. Guys? They do it all the time but you never really see ladies out at the bar by themselves. It’s just weird. What lead to my change of heart? Boredom with a splash of loneliness. After much contemplation I made my move. Armed with a notebook, pen, cell phone (obviously), earphones, a book, and my dog I was ready to plunge into the world of what I like to call “solo baring.” I had a backpack just full of crap all of it meant to keep me busy. Now looking back on it, I must have looked ridiculous during those first couple outings. To me I felt like I was carrying a gigantic  hiker backpack so it would have been interesting to see me through the eyes of others. I can only imagine what they could have been thinking. “Did she bring her entire house with her?” Or “What doesn’t she have in that backpack?” But secretly, that is something I have always battled with, caring about what other people could be thinking.

I’ve gone out now a few times by myself. I wouldn’t call me an expert or anything but I’m no longer bringing my entire bedroom with me when I go out. At the most I listen to my music and I mean I always have my notebook with me. Inspiration lingers everywhere and the last thing I want to do is miss out on the opportunity to write it down. The fact that I usually have my dog with me has been amazing. My little buddy gets plenty of attention and because of her I have actually began to meet people. There’s a saying out there, “In order to see change, change must happen.” and it couldn’t be more true. It took a visit from my sister and a dear friend of mine to make me realize the error of my ways. There was a point where I was ready to leave this town and quick (if only legal troubles weren’t lingering over my head) even though this was my dream. I have always said that one day I would live on the beach. I would work as little as possible and write like it was nobody’s business. Well, my dream is being lived out. I live on the beach. I work enough to pay for living expenses and have a little extra for whatever I want to do with it and writing has again been my main priority. So why was I ready to ditch this place?? In my mind, I felt like what good was living the dream if you had no one to share it with? Be it with a boyfriend, lover, friends, anyone, to experience life and to share it with those around you is important for happiness. In my opinion it heightens the experience. Here I was living the dream but it was just my dog and I building these memories. I wanted more.

In listening to the conversation of my visitors I really became aware of how my loneliness and unsatisfaction was self created. I wasn’t doing my part in truly trying to go out and meet people. Now thinking back I think it was mainly because I just wasn’t really ready to put myself out there and connect with people again. Within the last year I had been burned by many I believed would be in my life forever. I had been stopping myself from connecting with anyone else. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to connect until now.

Since I began going out, I have gotten myself into adventures that have cost me in one way or another. For one thing I have been spending a little more money. Do you know how hard it is for me to say no to having another drink? It’s pretty hard. Usually it’s friends that’ll have to be like “Noooo you don’t want another one…” When you’re out solo baring you have no one keeping that close eye on you. I never want to go home. I always want to stay for another one. It’s not hard for a server/bartender to “talk” me into getting another drink. But it’s not just the cost of money, but the cost of items that has left me in awe. In the last two weeks I have lost, a pair of sneakers, a pair of jeans, a sock, two pairs of earrings, an entire box of untouched chicken strips, a half order of wings, my cell phone, and 3 bobby pins. How did I lose all this stuff?? Well, being drunk was definitely a key participant in my moment of absent mindedness. When you’re out alone and a bit tipsy, you have no one to remind you to grab things off the table like that to-go box of food with your cell phone sitting right on top of it. You have no one reminding you to grab your jeans and shoes right after that moment of craziness that hit you right before you decided to go for a quick dip in the sea under the night sky. Let me add, that all of these things… are dangerous. A female, out and about at night, tipsy, and alone? I know I have exposed myself to quite a bit of danger. Not smart. But by doing so, life has gotten a wee bit more exciting. What is it that people say? “Take a walk on the wild side?” This island has proven just that and instead of feeling upset that I have lost so many of my “things”, I feel happy because what I’ve gained is worth so much more. I’ve met people, some of them I can tell will be good friends, at least for a little while, and wasn’t that the entire goal?? Making friends? I’ve also witnessed the most beautiful sunsets and have even motivated myself to rise early enough to catch the sunrise routinely now. I enjoy breathing in the salty sea air and to feel the sand between my toes is a daily must now.

Life is good. I no longer feel the urgent need to move away. I’ve got a little more exploring to do. I’ve got a few more adventures that I want to get into. For now, I’m just excited to be living out this dream of mine while also in the process of meeting new folks and creating new dreams. The life of a single can be a little tricky but once you find that motivation and a plan that works for you… everything else just simply falls right into place.

So from one single to another, I say to you.. put yourself out there, no matter how “weird” you may think it’ll feel. Take that walk on the wild side one baby step at a time.

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Prawn Broker, Fort Myers, FL