Let me be honest. I’m feeling uninspired today. I peeked into the draft box and realized that there aren’t as many half-written posts that I can continue and put up as I thought. That made me feel even worse for some odd reason.
So that was yesterday. Sometimes I write
posts two sentences and leave them hanging when I’m lazy/distracted or don’t know how else to continue it. Mostly the former though. I get distracted really easily. I’ll think of something else and forget all about my post and come back hours later and be all, Oh, you’re still here. Let me save you as draft and log out. Anyone else do this?
Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about one of my favorite pastimes on our blog before and thought it would make a decent post.
I like hanging out in coffee shops by myself. There, I said it. I first learned to enjoy spending time alone in college. If I thought college would be a great new place where I would make friends I would still be talking to 20 years down the road, I was wrong. Whoever told me that college was fun clearly lied. The college I went to was terrible. But that’s for another post, riiight?
After my first two semesters in college, I learned that the timetables were inflexible and no matter what, the college had planned the classes so that you were forced to take the classes that they wanted you to take and there would be long breaks in between. So I found myself with lots of time in between classes. I couldn’t go home for the breaks for a few reasons, the few people that I knew and actually talked to never had the same break times as me, and at certain hours the library would be so packed and stuffy that I would rather sit on the stairs than be inside. Oh, add to the fact that the shops and restaurants around college all sucked and were too far to walk to in the blazing heat, I found myself very unhappy.
But there was a Starbucks within reasonable walking distance. For a while, I was between a rock and a hard place. I am not a fan of Starbucks. Are you rearing back in horror and disgust yet? Are you going “shut up” in a Mean Girls way in your head? Are you breathing into a paper bag because you’re so shocked that there are people who actually dislike Starbucks? Okay, we’ll take a 10 minute break. Just kidding. Well, it’s true. Give me any other coffee place any day.
Being a non-working college student, I get lunch money from my parents. And I was not happy about the idea of spending money on Starbucks, which is so expensive here. But I did. For the sake of having some place to use wifi and get some homework done. Oh, and the air-conditioning. I think the winning point was the air-con and the fact that I love people-watching so what better place to do it than from behind the tinted glass windows of a coffee place. You have no idea how many fascinating things I’ve seen from spending just a few hours there one day a week. Not that I actually went there every week. That would have burnt holes in my wallet.
Well, anyway, you could have found me sitting all by my lonesome at a table for six with my backpack sitting regally on its own chair beside me and my phone lined up neatly against my plate of pastry. I’m awkward. As if you didn’t know that. I like to think of myself as sociable – being an INFP, it takes time for me to open up to someone and let me tell you, it’s worth the wait. I like talking. To be specific, I like talking to the right people about things that are bigger than gossip, short shorts, makeup and boys (wut?!). But I digress. I’m awkward so in situations where I’m alone whether or not in a crowd, if I’m not people-watching in deep fascination, I’m texting my mom to tell her how my day went. I know. It would appear as if I were the type of person who texts even while crossing the road. But I’m not. I would never. Look left, look right, then left again. Thanks Mom!
Oh, and it’s my mom who told me that eating alone is perfectly fine. What’s wrong with eating alone? I clearly remember her saying when I first said it would be awkward to eat alone. I used to eat alone on some days while I was working. Well, that was that. If my mom could do it, I certainly could as well. I think she also mentioned that eating alone is quite rewarding and something that not everyone can do. That turned out to be true. Eating by yourself is empowering. People stare at me with eyes that reflect how sad they were for me that I had no companion or they stare at me as if to wonder why the hell anyone would eat alone but I only smile from behind my cup of iced tea and wonder if they know how much they’re missing out on.
Eating alone rocks. It’s my me time. I get to do whatever I want – I can eat whatever I want without being afraid that people are secretly judging me (though that doesn’t necessarily mean I gorge myself with unhealthy food), I can sit wherever I want without having to bicker lightly over why the table is better than the booth (or vice versa, depending on restaurants), I can take as much time as I want to finish my meal and relax, I am not forced to make conversation with anyone. My mind is clearer when I’m not distracted by people and I get to recharge my brain juice especially after a tiring class. It is just one of the best feelings ever. After learning to be comfortable just hanging out by myself, I began to wonder why some people find it so daunting. I know a few people who’ve said that they would never eat alone. Beats me.
Sometimes you just need some time to yourself. You don’t necessarily have to eat alone to get this amazing feeling though. Just find some time away from people and noise and distractions. Sit on a bench in the middle of the city and watch people rushing around, getting things done and carrying on with their busy lives; window-shop by yourself, things like that.
Oh, just in case you’re thinking, heck I hang out at coffee houses alone all the time!, I don’t mean sitting at the table, glued to your laptop, checking Facebook updates. Take a minute or two to just enjoy your surroundings and the company of your own thoughts and maybe that fabulous drink that you got yourself.
So. Do you find me time like that often? When was the last time you ate alone? Or have you never? Would you ever? Love SF Coffee?! Me too, let me know in the comment box.