I Wish Being Alone Was The Norm

I wish that when I went out to eat by myself I wasn’t asked by the waiter if someone else was dining with me tonight. If I could just eat peacefully absorbing my own silence, delicately tasting each morsel of food lying before me. I wish that there were more tables with a place setting for one rather than two, three, or four. I wish that the couple behind me wouldn’t pryingly gaze over at me as they throw back glasses of Merlot together, wondering if I just got just heartbreakingly dumped as I sit quietly rest with my Chianti and bruschetta for one.

I wish that I could go to a movie by myself without my mom asking “Who’s the new boy?” I wish that when I answer, “I’m going alone,” I didn’t receive a sigh of sympathy. I didn’t get fired from my job, I didn’t fail a class, I didn’t lose a friend. Nothing happened to me. I wish that sitting in an armchair, eating popcorn and sipping on a Coke by yourself in public was looked at as OK rather than extraneous.

I wish that when I go out with my friends they don’t jokingly call me the “third wheel” or that I’m “single and ready to mingle.” People fall out of relationships and find themselves trying to “mingle” or socialize with others instantaneously. There is this unfortunate taboo about being alone that never seems to disintegrate. The part that I wish people would realize is that we have to truly mingle with ourselves until we can with anyone else. But we rarely do, because going out to a bar by yourself is “different.”

I wish that I could sit in a park and stare into the clouds without someone asking me “What’s wrong?” It’s like if you are sitting by yourself—no book, no iPod, no phone—people think you are somewhat lost, confused. You are lost because you aren’t connected to some gadget or someone at the time. You are just there, by yourself, on a bench. They think you are lonely, because you are alone. Something must be wrong with you.

I wish that people would stop telling me that I should start talking to that guy at the bar because he thinks I’m cute and likes my dimples. I like your face too, ‘guy.’ But I can buy my own drinks and find my own happiness in this blissful twilight. I can swirl around aimlessly in this mint pleated skirt and let the wind spin my hair in every direction. I wish that I will stop being told to start talking to someone just because they’re currently knocking at my front door. I wish that more people discovered the pleasure of dancing in your own breeze.

I wish that more people did things alone. I wish that I could see 20 tables in a dining room seating one person each. Twenty different glasses of wine, 20 different entrees, 20 different people. I wish that each person could marvel at their own existence, loving every moment of the time they have to cherish with themselves. Dining out, going to movies, going to a bar—all things we are expected to do with others. I wish “by yourself” wasn’t so negative. I wish alone wasn’t lonely. I wish you can see how incredibly beautiful alone can be. Have you? TC Mark

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