Table for One
Traveling solo doesn't mean you are a serial killer & other useful bits of information
“Just you?” the Lyft driver asks.
“Yes.” I say.
“What happened,” he persists.
“Lose your date?”
My mind races with responses that could make this awkward for HIM.
“Oh no, he died. Now please hurry. I did order the Lyft getaway car ride, did I not?”
Why is it so beyond the realm of the imagination that I possibly could be getting into this car on my own? After dining, at a table for one. On a trip, by myself.
No matter how often I do things on my own, the mindless comments people make will never cease to amaze me. 🧐
It’s as if doing things solo is a consolation prize. That Lyft driver would have felt better if I had spent my evening with a bozo from Bumble. Sharing my time, space and energy with blank, who works at blank, who looooves doing cool things like blank, blank, and jiu jitsu (why do they all do jiu jitsu?)
Once you realize that you are the damn prize, that precious time you have with yourself becomes sacred. 🏆
All of this is not to say our time spent with others is not important. We are communal beings, us humans.
There are two important factors that I like to think of on our human interaction scale:
our preference of introversion to extroversion
our threshold for interaction online
Introverts have a stigma of being shy, which I think causes a lot of us to wrongly self identify as an extrovert, just because we’re social. Being an introvert means that our emotional batteries charge best when we are alone, whereas extroverts get that energy from being around others. 🔋
(Here is a link to a personality test with my solemn promise that I am not trying to recruit you into a cult)(yet).
The issue is, ALL of our emotional batteries are draining faster than ever. This is because even when we’re not ~around~ people, we’re “around people.” Our threshold for interacting online is largely related to the boundaries we set for our digital behaviors.
We were never taught to do this. Introvert or extrovert, our brains weren’t wired for all of this interaction. Our brains are now being re-wired to adapt to our technological surroundings. Think about how much shorter you feel your attention span is over only the past 3 years, since the dawn of short, viral videos.
It’s the reason I’m breaking this text up in this way. 🙃
It’s also the reason I decided to study the psychology of social media, specifically the relationship between personality traits (like extroversion and introversion), social media use, and mindfulness- or our ability to stay in the present.
For me, the superglue that helped reconnect me to myself has been traveling solo. Whether it’s a big trip to a new country, or a panini at the cafe downstairs. I’m excited to have this space to write about this way of viewing the world that’s been so impactful in helping me to human. 🛸
When the Lyft driver asked,” lose your date?”, I just responded, “yeah.”
Then I gave him the link to my Substack. 💌
Still not recruiting for a cult but would love if you subscribed 🥰