Just started watching a movie, a young single person in New York, getting a bowl of soup at a restaurant, and then feeling a bit uncomfortable, and asking them to package it up to go. Being single, and not necessarily young, this had me reflect. Does she feel more alone, eating in a restaurant by herself than she will when she goes home to her empty apartment?
I’ve been living on my own for over 10 years ( for a brief time there was someone else but that is another very long story). In general I am very comfortable living on my own. I am very comfortable with myself for company, yes, on occasion I may answer a question I have, lol, but not often. The truth is we all have a pretty continual inner dialogue, often very hard to turn off, and I just hope that most people are kinder on themselves than they probably are. We do often seem to be more critical of ourselves than others.
Back to the soup. I also love to cook, I actually have in the past read recipe books, and I still enjoy searching the web for recipes. Finding ones that use combinations of ingredients differently than I would expect but that sound intriguing enough that I want to try this new adventure in taste and smell. Sometimes it may all be about the visual senses as well, a pretty swirly bread with Chocolate and hazelnuts, how can you go wrong with that? I love travelling, always an adventure and learning opportunity. Taken out of your normal, meeting strangers, exploring a new city, town, village, nature, tasting different foods, spices invigorating. When my children were young and if we were in the city I liked to take them to Superstore, and more specifically the ethnic aisle. We could travel down the aisle, check out foods we had never come across before and take some home and try them. Some we maybe only bought once, but always they were an adventure and a way of expanding our universe.
Why do I like to cook? A good part I imagine is that it is comforting, making something for yourself, and others that isn’t just about fuelling your body but about actually enjoying the experience. Not just eating because you have to but because it is such a sensual experience, the flavours, the texture, the scent, how you might actually physically have to approach it. It is great if you can share the experience with someone, which is why I love cooking up a storm for special occasions. A celebration just isn’t a celebration if there isn’t great food to go with it. Do I need great food to enjoy a concert or a play, no, but it certainly rounds out the evening.
Someone once told me they admired that I would go to an event on my own, take myself out for supper or to a movie, didn’t that feel strange? From my point of view, why would I not go or do something just because I didn’t have someone to go with? We are responsible for our own happiness, and if all that means is getting up off the couch and doing what brings you joy, that sounds pretty easy, vs sitting at home and wishing you had gone. There is so much living to do. I had a relationship once where I would ask him if he would like to go someplace and the answer was “Maybe” he would never commit and it always got too close to the time to make a decision that in the end we wouldn’t go. I smartened up and instead started letting him know that I was going incase he was interested in coming along, if he wasn’t fine, I wasn’t going to miss out on something I was going to enjoy. I did marry that fellow for quite a while, I also remember one evening asking if he’d like a some ice-cream or something like that as we were watching a movie, he replied, “No”. I went about getting myself some ice-cream and when I came back he looked at me and said, he thought he had told me he didn’t want any? “Yes, you did” I replied “but this is for me” . To which he was surprised that I would get some for myself when he didn’t want any? I stayed married to him for much too long, but I did get three wonderful children out of it. Actually for many years at the end of that relationship I felt more alone when he was there than when he was gone. So really living on my own is wonderful.
Yes, it might be nice for someone to ask how your day was, or to make sure you got home safely, or if you are feeling ill that they might make you chicken soup. Someday I may find someone to share my life with who appreciates me for me, who is comfortable with who he is and is an equal partner.
But right now, I can decide that I want to make a certain type of soup, or that I want to experiment with it, and I don’t have to be concerned at all whether someone else might like it. I don’t have to compromise, or not be true to myself, I can go where I please and do as I wish. It’s a darn fine life and I’m a very lucky person to be living it as fully as I can.