Fear of Being Alone

Relax… this post has nothing to do with my relationship, hubby and I are great. However, I was recently at a conference for work in DC. I went with my supervisor and one of the other faculty at my office. It was a great conference for nutrition educators, and I did a poster presentation on my project. Good all around. Our first night there, after the events were over with, my boss had dinner plans, so, I meandered into the lounge, grabbed a seat and had a drink and dinner, by myself. The next morning, she asked what I did the night before, so I told her, and she profusely apologized for me being alone. This seemed odd to me. I was more than happy to be alone… but, it reminded me of a conversation about dining alone in public I had awhile back.

I don’t remember remember what started the conversation, but remember that in general the consensus was that people were not comfortable dining alone. Perhaps I am indifferent to it because I’ve traveled alone for work or when I was in a long distance relationship. Honestly, traveling and eating alone is not a big deal for me. Some days, I enjoy it immensely.

I keep my life very busy. I work full time, go to school part-time, volunteer regularly, have 2 dogs to care for, stay physically active and somehow manage a social life of sorts in there. So, honestly, alone time, time with just myself and my thoughts is very welcome. I enjoy not feeling that I need to have a conversation or entertain. I take this time to rework my schedule for the millionth time, think about workout ideas, evaluate where I am in life, or sometimes, just enjoy the silence.

I believe some of my greatest thoughts/ideas come from my alone time. Some of my blog ideas, home creations, etc have come from alone time. And, this trip was no different. I started really thinking about my future in my career. I may finally succumb to the peer pressure take the next step in my career and pursue my PhD. To do that, I needed to really look at my goals, the cost, what I would want my dissertation to be on, etc. For me, I need to process those things out in my head before I discuss them with others.

I know that it seems a bit selfish, enjoying the thought of not having to talk to others, or interact with others. I enjoy having the ability to tune out the world and enjoy the introspection. I find that very beneficial.

Do you balk at the idea of dining alone? If so, I suggest you try it… it may become your new favorite escape. It’s a great thing, to learn to appreciate yourself as your own company, to appreciate the silence, and make the few moments of alone time precious and beneficial, even if it’s only to enjoy the silence.

Do you have other fears? My big fear is bridges, or, as I learned today: gephyrophobia. I am slowly but surely working on that fear. Sometimes, it is healthy to work towards conquering fears.

Stay tuned… product review on BenGay Zero Degrees coming soon!