I went to the movies last night.
I drove there in the car with no one to talk to, listening to my music.
I bought myself some popcorn and a bottle of water, and I found myself a seat.
I was surrounded by people who had come together, little groups who knew each other. The sound of laughter and conversation ebbed around me.
And I sat in my seat, gloriously alone.
I watched the movie and didn’t have to share my opinion (or my popcorn) with anyone.
And then I drove home, listening to my choice of music, again! (Which by the way I did not have to turn down to facilitate better conversation).
Last night was luxury for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family, and I love being around them. But I am one of those people who is very sensitive to people’s moods. So inevitably if I have company, I am analysing how they are reacting to everything. Being alone, last night allowed me to turn that over-analytical radar off.
And it allowed me to be really present. It allowed me to taste the extreme saltiness of the popcorn. To relish the charming surroundings of the old cinema. It allowed me to truly get lost in the movie Brooklyn.
A movie that covered the journey of a young woman from her home in Ireland to a new home in New York. Then returning to Ireland to discover while things were the same, they weren’t for her.
It was a movie that spoke to the Third Culture Kid in me. A story of belonging and homesickness, questions and self-discovery.
And because I was alone, I could immerse myself fully in the experience. I could cry and laugh and let the story wash over me.
There are times when I avoid being alone. I fill up my days with catch-ups with friends, or make sure I have things to do. Sometimes I feel like being busy and having company is the better thing.
It is a myth.
Last night I wasn’t lonely. I was just alone.
I have discovered that I enjoy my own company.
Join me for the journey,