What Paris Taught Me // 2

Paris


When I lived in London, I used to have to work every third weekend (all weekend) leaving me with two days off within the regular work week from Monday to Friday. With everyone else was at work during my days off, I developed an incredibly consistent routine of not stepping a foot outside for those 48 hours I had off mid week by myself. The truth of it all is I was always scared. I’d never do things alone, I got intimidated incredibly easily by people and genuinely felt comfortable in my decision to not get changed out of my pyjamas for two days straight.

After a few months of watching my poor routine, T forced strongly suggested that I stop being lazy, timid, disgusting in my pyjamas introverted and go and do something with my free time and try to enjoy myself. It took months and the final Harry Potter movie to get me going. I took myself, just myself, alone to the movies. I was petrified that people would look at me and judge me and I almost didn’t go in after I got a sad little look from the ticket seller when I asked for “One please for Harry Potter”. But I went to all that effort to shower and all so I couldn’t waste the opportunity. I was the first person in the cinema and sat anxiously waiting with only the company of my popcorn for the movie to start, thinking how much of a loser I was not only for going to a movie by myself but for being the only person in the cinema. Right before the lights were dimmed two other people walked in… separately. All of a sudden it was me, and two other women sitting by themselves also, who had come to watch Harry Potter in the dark and eat buckets of popcorn. The sisterhood united.

I tell this story because it was the first instance where I learnt to break my fear of doing, or being, alone. It took a lot for me to go to a movie alone and you get a certain kind of confidence in not caring what others may think once you do go out and happily enjoy your own company.

Paris was a whole other level of “alone”. A few of the biggest life lessons I learnt:

1. I am, and now always will be, 100% OK if I have to do things alone. It may not be my first preference, but I will be OK nonetheless
2. Although super delicious, I cannot get away with eating so much bread within a 3 month period
3. I am not so important that an entire restaurant of people will stop what they are doing/talking about to sit and stare at me eating dinner alone. They have better things to do!
4. I can go to fancy hotels, theatres and restaurants by myself and have a really great time
5. You become less inhibited and shy when you do things alone, you make comments to others and join in on conversations that you normally wouldn’t if someone else were with you
6. You can live in a country where you don’t speak the language. Locals may be mean but you don’t understand them cursing at you anyway so…
7. People will comment on how great it is that you do things alone (I guess it can stir up a little insecurity in others sometimes!)
8. One of the most enjoyable things to do alone is to sit in a nice place, have a glass (or two) of wine and read. Slowly. You have no where else to be
9. I did it.

***** As I publish this prewritten post, the news of terror that has striked Paris is being broadcast around the world. My heart hurts for the people of France today however terror cannot and will not win. The city will forever remain as the city of LOVE. 



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  1. January 8, 2015 / 8:13 am

    I find it interesting that people so often use a solo cinema trip as their first "alone" outing. It makes sense – you get to hide in the dark for most of it! – but, as someone who has worked in several cinemas over several years, I can confirm: going to the cinema alone is a totally normal thing to do and the staff think nothing of it.

    (which doesn't stop me from feeling a little bit self conscious if I'm sitting in a cafe, drinking hot chocolate on my own)

  2. January 8, 2015 / 9:13 am

    I found this a really interesting other perspective, because I have no problems doing anything alone, and I never really have. I think it is an only child thing, even if I did go to boarding school from a young age. Congrats on finding how awesome it is!! x

  3. January 8, 2015 / 10:48 am

    To be honest I still feel awkward about going to proper restaurants by myself! When I went to NYC alone I just ate fast food all the time haha. I do want to try #6 but maybe not in Paris, you are braver than I.

  4. January 8, 2015 / 11:30 am

    Oh my god. I had no idea about Paris until I read this and quickly went over to the BBC website and saw. How horrible and sad.

    My first time of doing something alone was sitting down and having a coffee in costa when I was 19. It might not have been amazing to some, but it was to me.

    I'd love to know more about your time in Paris. I moved in France on my own for 8 months and often went to Paris for weekends away. It's such a lovely city and makes me feel very much at home. I just feel.. good there. I can't explain it. But I love it. I'm hoping to visit again this summer for the first time in about 4 years.

    It really is nice to watch peoples eyes light up when they see you've done something so big on your own.

    Corinne x
    http://www.skinnedcartree.com

  5. January 9, 2015 / 1:21 am

    It's the comfort of the dark and also the warm popcorn that convinced me it was safe!!! Baby steps.

  6. January 9, 2015 / 1:22 am

    You are probably so correct. I'm a twin and have shared literally, every significant and non significant event/experience/moment with someone else. Being alone is not something I feel wired to handle naturally!

  7. January 9, 2015 / 1:23 am

    Ohhh just do it. I bought a ticket so I was financially committed, makes it so much harder to pull out then.

  8. January 9, 2015 / 1:23 am

    I still always feel awkward, but I can do it nonetheless instead of just staying home. Ohhh don't worry, McDonalds got hit up quite a few times when I was in Paris (mostly because I could order or a screen in English and then just collect it. How simple!)

  9. January 9, 2015 / 1:26 am

    Horrendous news isn't it… sorry to bring your attention to such a bad story 🙁 Coffee is way braver than I was, I just sat in the dark for a few hours hahaha.

    You can read about most of the silly adventures if you search "Paris" in the top search box. I was only there for 3 months but loved it. It was definitely a hard city, without speaking French, but I really had a great time and got a lot of confidence out of being there alone! I'm sure you'll love it even more if you head back in the Summer… (lucky you!!!)

  10. January 11, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    I loved reading this post! I used to always want to go to movies, but never alone until last year. The feeling is so freeing to get up and do whatever you want without being afraid of doing it alone! Thank you for sharing this amazing post! So glad we connected on instagram; you would love our Poncho Outfit look that we shared on the blog today!
    xo, Jennifer
    Seek Wander Share
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  11. January 12, 2015 / 1:19 am

    It's a bit of a dream isn't it. But it can seriously kick you butt at times too, don't let the pretty scenery fool you 😉

  12. January 12, 2015 / 1:20 am

    Hi Fives all around for my fellow single cinema viewing ladies 😉

  13. January 18, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    I love this article, and so glad that someone has written it on their blog. I'm also one of the people that enjoys doing things alone, especially going to the cinema and clothes shopping. Of course, it is not because one has no friends, but there are times when one finds doing certain activities alone is much more enjoyable than always having to go with someone just for the sake of having another person there…

    Love your blog!
    May

    http://www.maynoradeespace.blogspot.co.uk

  14. January 18, 2015 / 10:33 pm

    Oh I can't go clothes shopping with anyone… I get too frustrated! Took me a while to start doing things solo but once you get over the idea that it won't be fun by yourself, it's great!!!!!

  15. February 15, 2015 / 3:46 am

    Such a great post Megan !

    When I was 13 I started going to the movies by myself, my parents worked in school holidays, so I used to go with them then walk to the cinema from their work, then after the movie I'd sit in the park to eat my lunch and read until they finished. It was really nice, I could do whatever I wanted and since I would otherwise be absorbed in a book at home anyway, I figured it was a good change. When I asked to go back packing alone through Europe at 17, they said it was okay, so in the month I turned 18, off I went. I looked young so when checking into the hostels people asked where my Mum was! 🙂

    Independence is a great privilege and no one ever gives a hoot why you are alone at a restaurant- unless you are in Italy and your waiter wants to take you out after his shift on his Vespa. 🙂

    xx Jenelle

  16. February 18, 2015 / 9:24 am

    Oh gosh how brave are you! I can't believe you backpacked alone at 18 years old. What an incredible adventure you must have had. See I'm a twin so I really, have not had to ever do a lot of things by myself. Especially when we were younger, I always had someone to go to the movies with or go shopping with.

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