As you get older, you eventually come to the realization that you’re not always going to be surrounded by friends, no matter how popular, fun, and awesome you are. The days of constantly being surrounded by a massive group of friends, classmates, and fraternity brothers or sorority sisters are mostly over, and even spending time with best friends is something you have to plan well in advance. People move away, work long hours, and pair off with their significant others–it happens to everyone, and it’s easy to feel like you’re on your own more often than you’re spending time with people.
But that’s actually okay. Frankly, sometimes I like hanging out by myself. I’m awesome as hell, and so are you. Hanging out alone can be pretty fantastic. You don’t have to care about what you wear, you can do whatever you want, and you don’t have to give a fuck about pleasing anyone other than yourself. Isn’t that what life is all about? I sure do think so. It’s like dating the best person you know: yourself. Here are some places you can go by yourself that are totally not embarrassing to do alone.
Going To The Movies
If you’ve never seen a movie by yourself, you’re missing out on a fantastic experience. There’s no debate about what movie to see. You can see whatever you want, whenever you want, pursuant to your schedule and nobody else’s. You want to go see “Guardians of the Galaxy” next week at midnight, but your girlfriend has to be up early for work the next day and doesn’t want to go? That’s fine, go by yourself! You’ll probably have a lot more fun watching the movie without hearing “Who the hell is that guy?” every five seconds, or “Why is that raccoon talking to that tree?” Also, the snacks on snacks factor–you got ’em all to yourself, no judgements. Get the biggest refillable popcorn tub they have and wash it down with a massive soda the size of a bucket. Or a slushie. Then get some Sour Patch Kids and Sno-Caps. Nothing’s too good for you, you swarthy son of a bitch.
Sitting at the Bar
How do you think everyone got to know Norm so well on “Cheers,” to the point where they shouted his name out every time he walked in? Do you think he did it by sitting at a table, casually talking to friends, then paying and leaving? Absolutely not. He sat at that damn bar by himself and made friends. What about Billy Joel? Okay, technically he was paid to be there and play the piano, but when he was done, he sat at the bar and talked to the bartender, the waitresses, the regular patrons, and so on. And he wrote a song about it that everyone in the freaking world knows by heart. Try sitting at the bar by yourself and striking up a conversation with the bartender or the people next to you. You never know who you’ll meet.
Attending A Sporting Event
If you’re as obnoxious a fan of your favorite teams as I am (BROOKLYN, WE GO HARD) then more likely than not, people won’t want to go to games with you anyway. You can go by yourself, wear as much embarrassing fan gear as you want, hang out with other fans, heckle your least favorite players, and get as wasted as you want (or can afford) as long as you don’t get kicked out by security. Get rowdy as hell! In fact, you can even dance like a crazy person in the aisles and possibly get on the jumbotron. Maybe they’ll make you a regular character at games, dancing around like a moron for the amusement of others. But probably not. Still, it’s fun as hell to go to a sporting event alone. Plus, you don’t have to buy overpriced snacks and drinks for others. It’s win-win.
Granted, the title of this section seems really sad, like it’s the kind of thing you’d associate with an old man who sits alone at diners because his wife of more than 50 years passed away, but he’s still so set in his routine that he goes anyway. Shit, I’m depressed even writing that. But it’s not depressing–really, it’s not. Sometimes you just want to get away from everyone and eat a solid meal. Even in college, I would sometimes go to my favorite diner and just sit at the bar, order my breakfast, have a few cups of coffee while reading the newspaper, then finish, pay, and go about my business. My friends used to refer to it as my “office hours,” and if people couldn’t find me, that was the first place they’d look. It’s a great place to kick back, relax, and do some introspective thinking, get work done, or just eat a good meal and drink a nice cup of coffee in peace. Can’t beat that.
Going On An Adventure
This is probably one of the most inexpensive and under-appreciated things you can do by yourself. Just get up, get dressed, leave your apartment or house, and just walk. Anywhere. Take a walk and wander around your neighborhood, go check out something you’ve never seen before. Take a trek down to the park or down by the water, beach, or whatever. Go on a hike, ride your bike, do just about whatever you like. Sorry for rhyming, I’ll stop. But just go out and do something by yourself. You never know what you’ll find.
Ah, the complete, polar opposite of going on an adventure. Just stay home and do nothing. Catch up on work or a passion project without any interruptions. Turn off your phone or put it on silent and just catch up on life. Write a chapter of your unfinished novel or even an article for Post Grad Problems. Catch up on some TV you’ve missed, clear out your DVR, watch mountains of porn, cook yourself an incredibly delicious and unhealthy meal, all without leaving your apartment or putting on pants. I’d say that pants ruin most good times anyway. Veg out on your couch, read a book or magazine, take a nap, watch a “House Hunters” marathon on HGTV–do anything you want. Just do it.
Being alone might be scary for some, but it shouldn’t be. Just because you’re alone for a few hours to a day, it doesn’t mean you’re going to die alone. It just means you have to learn to love yourself and have some fun with the greatest person you know: you. Whatever you do, do you. That’s what it’s all about.