Learning How To Be By Myself

I’m beginning this article on Dec. 11, 2020. Currently, I’m self-isolating until I get the results from my COVID test. Spending all of this time by myself has yielded some needed self-reflection, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to learn how to be alone.

You see, I’m a very codependent person, so I enlist my friends to do all of my errands with me (as I don’t like to be alone). This is great and all, and usually I end up having a blast, but realistically my friends won’t always be atmy beck and call … meaning I should probably get good at being (and doing things) on my own. 

I got the idea for this article when I woke up with a sore throat a couple of days ago and had to call my doctor’s office as a result. The very nice receptionist explained to me that I needed to go to an Urgent Care in Rochester in order to get a COVID examination. This was all fine and dandy until the nice receptionist informed me that I had to go alone since I’m (technically) an adult. 

I immediately began to panic. 

Sure, I’ve been to MY doctor’s office by myself, but I’d never gone (or driven) to an Urgent Care in Rochester without my mom. I expressed this to the receptionist, and she reassured me that it’s not so bad, and even gave me step by step directions to my destination. 

After I hung up, I put on a coat and headed out into the world, by myself. And you know what? Once I got there, everything was okay. I checked myself in, waited in the waiting room, saw the nurse practitioner and the doctor, got a COVID test and was on my way. Being by myself wasn’t that bad. Actually, it was kind of nice. On my drive home I began to wonder, “what else have I been missing out on simply because I don’t let myself be by myself?”. 

That gave me an idea; once my COVID-test comes back, if it’s negative I want to (safely) go out into the world and do things that I usually would ask my friends to do with me, by myself. Obviously, I can’t do any of these things until my results come back, so while I wait I’ve devised a list of things that I want to do, given that I’m COVID free. 

  1. I want to go get my ears pierced by myself.

  2. I want to sit in a coffee shop and work on schoolwork by myself.

  3. I want to go Christmas shopping by myself. 

  4. I want to go grocery shopping by myself. 

  5. And finally, I want to go look at holiday lights by myself. 

It's now Tuesday Dec. 15 and I found out on Saturday that I am COVID free, so today I decided to go do some of the things on my list! I went Christmas shopping on Main Street in Geneseo, and it was so nice to just go at my own pace. I didn’t have to worry about feeling rushed or going too slow, and I was able to buy things for the friends that I usually would drag along with me!  

Then I went and sat at Crickets (sans homework) and enjoyed a festive beverage. At first, I was really self-conscious and kept thinking to myself “everyone is looking at me” when in reality, nobody cared that I was drinking a nice peppermint mocha latte all by my lonesome. Honestly, almost everyone at the coffee shop was working or enjoying a warm cup of joe without anyone else’s company! I finished my coffee, and on my way out I came to the realization that I felt more relaxed than before I entered the cafe. 

Next on my list of things to do was get my ears pierced. Unfortunately, the piercing shop in Geneseo was closed when I stopped by, and I didn’t have time to wait for it to open. While this may be a bit disappointing (as it was #1 on my list of things to do,) I made an appointment to get a tattoo done in Webster, which I plan to attend by myself next Monday (mostly because of COVID, but it’s the thought that counts). 

To round out my afternoon excursion, I stopped in at Wegmans and picked up some groceries. I think this was probably the weirdest I felt being by myself, but only because I work at the store. But with that being said, I picked up some Chobani yogurt, granola and some cranberry juice. It felt good to be buying my own groceries, even if it only came out to be like $9. 

While I did almost everything on my list, there’s still one thing left to cross off: going to see Christmas lights. I plan on doing this a bit later in the week, and therefore cannot detail my experience in this article :( (I’m sure I’ll have a great time though!). 

Even though some things didn’t go according to plan, I’m still very happy with this makeshift experiment that I created. In the end, nobody cared that I was doing these things by myself, and I ended up enjoying the experience much more than I anticipated.