Eating Out on Your Own
How do you feel about that statement?
What are your immediate thoughts?
Do you ever eat out on your own?
If not…why not?
I hear so many people say things like:
“I would feel too self-conscious.”
“Everyone will be looking at me.”
“I’d have no-one to talk to.”
You know what I used to feel the same!
I thought people were crazy to go and eat on their own.
Then i tried it once. I remember it even now.
A local restaurant, A Harvester. I took a book with me, I ordered my meal really quickly, I ate it and I left.
I will not lie, it felt uncomfortable. It took me out of my comfort zone, to be there on my own.
But actually it also made me feel pretty good, like when you’re kid and you feel all grown-up when you did something.
I was proud of myself.
So, I did it again another time. And again.
The photo I share with you is from my recent outing. A company that sends you a ‘free meal’ for your birthday voucher.
Yes, I could have invited people. (I am pretty sure that’s what the restaurant expected).
But, I then miss out on an opportunity for growth each time I do.
You see we are stronger than we think. More versatile than we think. More pragmatic..
For every negative thought you have about the experience, counter it.
Where I can I will ask for a window seat so I can watch the world go by. Watch the boats on the river, the geese and ducks taking flight. I turn it in to an experience of being present. This distracts me from any self-consciousness I may feel initially.
This time there were no window seats…
So I was sat quite vulnerably in the middle of the top floor. I was not put off. I rose to the challenge. (Plus I have definitely been on a bit of a journey to be seen more, so the world was also reflecting that back).
I took my phone with me to listen to some chill music, or maybe even a webinar whilst I was waiting for my dinner. I took my time to eat, not wolfing it down like i did the first time I ate out alone.
It’s actually self-love.
Treating yourself to time out, time alone, eating good food, so I think of it this way now. And so can you. Yes sometimes I take a book, but often I have found these days I rarely look at it, especially with my window seat.
I even asked for the menu to check out desserts but decided they were all much of a muchness and therefore politely declined. I breathed and felt into my presence. I didn’t rush off, I just got up when I had finished my drink.
Was everyone looking at me, no, not at all. A couple of glances when people first arrive, but just as if they were looking around to see who else was here. They were too busy chatting with each other and savouring their own meals to worry about me.
So, why do we worry so much about what they may think, or not, as is the case!
“I’ve got no-one to talk to” – be present with your meal, mindfully eat, taking in the textures, the smell, the tastes, and let your meal become an experience. Would you cook this at home, how is it made?
Force yourself to look around, put your knife and fork down and just pause for a moment. See all the beauty around you, life buzzing, people out enjoying themselves as families, friends and lovers. Be proud that you are doing this.
So, take yourself out, sit and be in the moment.
Take a few props with you the first time: a book, headphones to listen to music or You Tube or whatever on your phone. Hell, use it to catch up on work emails if you wish to, but do it.
It makes you feel alive, proud, and i came away having really felt like I had a break.
Knowing you can do things for yourself, for your own good, brings with it a sense of self-empowerment, and I’m all about that!
I dont always need or want to be sitting with people.
Sometimes, our souls want and need the solitude.
The time with YOU and you alone.
And if like me, you love water, find an eatery near water so you get the added benefits of being close to it as well!
Treat you! – what say you??