Thursday, August 13, 2009

Three “For One” Days


I recently started reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, which advocates presence in the current moment, and the shedding of repressive, past emotions and future-obsessed thoughts. By focusing on “the now,” it says, one can discover joy, wonder and great tranquility.

I have been trying to be more present on my trip here.

And as part of this, I’ve tried to do something every day that grounds me in my current space. Something that makes me feel alive and appreciative of this great opportunity.

Monday, I went out to lunch by myself for the first time ever. This has always been something I’ve meant to do. It seemed like a rite of passage into adulthood. Yet, it scared me. Silly, I know. I didn’t want to be the girl people pitied for dining all alone. But I sucked it up and walked along the river to a Spanish restaurant, asked for a table for one and sat on the patio, enjoying the view.


It was cloudy and breezy that day, the trees around me rustled and I got goosebumps on my arms. But I didn’t rush to finish. In fact, I enjoyed every bite of my food. I actually tasted it instead of sensing a hint of it in between spoken sentences. It was nice. And very liberating…even though I had my security blanket (a book) with me the whole time.



The next day, I took the train into the city and did a little souvenir shopping in Picadilly Circus. This required me to actually navigate streets and change lines on the tube. But I pulled it off. At one point, a fly got on the subway with me and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was nervous about getting lost at the next stop too. That must be very disorienting to just be flying around your hometown and then suddenly you make a wrong turn and end up at Baron’s Court instead of Hammersmith.



Today I went back into town with Mr. Wonderful, who had a meeting in SoHo for work. We explored the Tate Modern for awhile, grabbed sushi and then parted ways for a few hours. I walked to Trafalgar Square and then to Leicester. It was a gorgeous day and so much fun to wander that part of the city.

Tomorrow I’m going to do it all over again. I think this time I’ll go see the National Gallery…who knows. The day is wide open for this one.

12 comments:

justrun said...

I think that's awesome. Eating, wandering, just being alone in a new place can be very liberating. Especially when you know, should worst come to worst, you can call for backup. :)

laura said...

so jealous. and to think you are getting paid for this too. such anamazing experience!

Jane Moneypenny said...

I love going to lunch by myself. I'm working up to going to the movies alone. The first time I went site-seeing myself, I thought I wouldn't stop panicking and that was just SF! You rock! I've got to find your courage and drink some.

Mandy's Kidding said...

The Power of Now? Sounds like a Buddhist knock-off.

*Laugh*

Emily said...

I'm so excited that you're having so much fun wandering on your own, I did the same thing, making a list of everything I needed to see and making sure I did them all, usually alone. It's so nice to be able to spend just the amount of time YOU want to spend looking at everything. And Barcelona looked amazing!!!!! I can't wait til I get my chance to go there. Anyway, thought it was about time I commented... Love you!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

There are two types of people who will dine, drink or go to the movies on their own. The awkward, gawky, "I really am lonely" kind of people. And the "I've got confidence, will meet someone new, or not, and everything is cool" kind. I've always admired the person who can do it solo without giving a damn what the rest of the world thinks. Though, I doubt I'll ever fully be that person. =)

Lara Watkins said...

You rock.

Hannah said...

I love all your travel posts. It makes me very happy for you. You are seeing the world and writing about it. And you get to spend a lot of time with your man and with yourself. What a wonderful thing. You are a lucky little lady. :)

Alysha said...

Way to go! I am so proud of you! It looks incredibly fabulous by the way! I have eaten lunch numerous times alone, but am still trying to go to a movie alone for the first time!

christina said...

Love this post!

So funny I had to stand myself up on Saturday. Was so excited to finally have the time to see a flick by myself b/c I haven't done it in so long (and am dying to see Julie and Julia). Was dolled up and everything (from a dinner meeting I had before) but then had to turn down the movie bc I spent too much on dinner. What a lousy date I am- never calling myself for a date again :) Did watch "So the Bible Tells Me So" tho on DVD- highly recommend it- was great.

brookem said...

oh i like dining alone. friday i went to the movies alone (i wanted gerard butler all to myself, ahem)... it's nice to do that sometimes.

glad you are having fun!

geekhiker said...

You and I are polar opposites in experience: you've never done anything alone, and I always have! LOL