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I Love My Own Company And So Should You

By Tanvi Rastogi @tanviidotcom
White Shirt At Home
Growing up I remember always having a lot of friends. Friday from school, friend from the colony I stayed in, friends from previous schools I had attended (I had changed quite a number of schools), friends from different activities my parents had enrolled me in. The list was endless. I don't remember a single moment until college when I didn't have a friend I could call or meet up with at any hour of the day.
But as years went by, my friend circle kept becomes smaller and smaller. Part of it has to do with my own change in personality and part of it has to do with the number of times I have moved and changed cities in last two decades. It is hard to make a genuine connection or even find the time to build on the connection when you do make one. Personally, in my case, there are two things which have played a role in creating my current social life. One is the decision to not have kids and second that most of my old friends happen to live in different countries and even continents. Making a plan to meet them means having to fly thousands of miles which is not easily possible.
Most people in my age group are friends with the parents of their kid's friends. Or at least they make more of an effort if they know their kids too will have company should you put an effort in forging a friendship. And that is fair enough. We all have limited time at our disposal and we should prioritize according to our needs. But that also meant that I have had to, adapt to my change in lifestyle and choices and learn to enjoy my own company while continuing to live a fulfilling life.
Over the past decade or so, I became my best friend. I started enjoying my own company. I stopped waiting around to find a partner/friend to do an activity or join a class. In the initial years of marriage I did a lot of things with my husband. But everything was not of his interest, which forced me to do things on my own. It pushed me to form a relationship with myself. Today, I am the most important person in my life. Because, let's be honest, if I don't love my company no one else would either.
Last week, for my birthday, I decided to go for a breakfast date with myself. 

A) I love breakfasts and 
B) Everyone had to go to work (it was a weekday) and I had my morning free 

So I decided to make a reservation for one at a local French Restaurant. While doing so I did a poll on Insta-Stories asking if others did the same or thought it was weird to eat alone. About 25% of the people said it was weird to make a reservation for one. To them I want to say, please do not dismiss this before you have tried it. Make a reservation for yourself at your favorite restaurants and show up exactly like you would for any other meal reservation. Personally, I have never gotten any looks or felt uncomfortable from the servers or the guests but if should that happen to you, brush-it-off. If you enjoy your food and solitude then who cares how strangers feel? And let me tell you, there are a lot of benefits of eating alone:

  1. You don't have to share your food.
  2. You don't have to make small talk.
  3. You can focus completely on yourself.

But eating alone is just one way though. Over the years I have done numerous things on my own - I joined a dance class, did a handstand workshop, tried boxing, went on a lot of networking mixers, I watch movies alone all-the-time. I love going for walk in spring-fall. Reading, of course is a solitary activity, and one of my favorite hobbies. I have also come to enjoy cooking for one. Who cares if no one else wants to eat what I like. If I like it, that's reason enough. 

The idea is to value myself as much if not more, even when no one is around. I refuse to let society tell me how to live. I make my own rules. Also, I am enough. #DeepMuch? :)

Additional reading:
If you haven't already, you must read Garance Dore’s response to her breakup at 43.

White Shirt At Home
White Shirt At Home
White Shirt At Home
White Shirt At Home
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