While I don’t think I’ll ever be brave or crazy enough to want to jump out of a plane or go cliff-diving, I’ve “taken a leap” recently that I’m very pleased about.
I’ve taken myself out on dates.
It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been on my own, and sometimes I’ve overwhelmed with a feeling of “oh crap, I’m alone. I don’t have anyone to do anything with,” and that makes me want to curl up into a ball under a blanket and probably never come out. But the other night I was walking towards Fifth Avenue to meet a friend (spoiler alert: I DO have people to do stuff with, despite my crippling fear!), I was overwhelmed by this startling realization:
I’m here in New York City. There are so many beautiful places to see, and so many cool events worth attending. And I shouldn’t let feeling alone hold me back. If I want to go somewhere and enjoy something, I CAN STILL DO THAT.
SOLO MOVIE DATE
I started off slow yesterday, and took a walk across Central Park to the West Side, where I caught a screening of Ballet 422 at Lincoln Center. It’s a documentary I’d been wanting to see, but I didn’t know anyone else who was interested in seeing it.
Did I nervously Google Map my route from my apartment to Lincoln Center a zillion times? Yes. Did I get worried about wanting to Instagram things in Central Park because I didn’t want anyone to stare at me? Yes. But then I realized everyone is Instagramming and using Selfie Sticks and no one cares.
Did I get really fidgety when I walked into the theater because I’d be sitting by myself? I did, for a moment. But then I saw there were other people sitting by themselves, and we were all there for the same reason. We wanted to see a movie!
(It was great, by the way. Here’s the trailer for Ballet 422.)
On my walk back across the park, I felt triumphant. I smiled at every puppy wearing a puffy vest that trotted by. I listened to some musicians. I basked in the fresh air and sunshine. I was doing something alone, and it was okay! To celebrate, I bought a twelve-dollar box of macarons and promptly ate all of them myself. It was beautiful.
BEING A TOURIST
Since the weather was climbing towards 50 degrees today (hallelujah!), I wanted to get outside again. I decided to visit a lovely landmark only a few avenues away: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I saw that the Madame Cézanne exhibit was only open through March 15th, so I wanted the chance to see it. From the Met website:
This exhibition of paintings, drawings, and watercolors by Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906) traces his lifelong attachment to Hortense Fiquet (French, 1850–1922), his wife, the mother of his only son, and his most painted model. Featuring twenty-five of the artist’s twenty-nine known portraits of Hortense, including Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory (1891) and Madame Cézanne in a Red Dress (1888–90), both from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection, the exhibition explores the profound impact she had on Cézanne’s portrait practice.
Okay, I did snap like two pictures. Baby steps! I fell in love with this Matisse, which I’d never seen before.
After wandering around the museum for a few hours, I was pretty tired. Before heading home, I made a last-minute decision to indulge in a NYC classic:
A hotdog! This was gone in about three bites, after I finished recording it here in all its glory.
My weekend was incredibly relaxing and eye-opening. I think I’ll always prefer to do things with a friend, but now I know that not having someone to go with won’t hold me back. That’s a good thing, right?
Have you been on a solo date lately? Tell me about it!