This last Friday I had a dinner date with someone I hope I will become friends with. We had planned it out weeks in advance because life is busy. We had discussed restaurant options over email and once decided I made a reservation.
I did not want to go. I had had a week of PMS out of hell with the whole world tumbling down on me like a banshee that needed internal screaming to make herself feel alive. I had picked up fights with myself, with my husband, with my computer, with my food, with absolutely anything that would allow themselves to be argued over.
It was cold.
I did not want to get dressed and go out.
But I did. I got into a white sweater (which in my books, is dressing up because it means no little sticky hands will get their lovely little stickiness all over it) and I went to the restaurant.
And I waited.
And I waited.
and I drank some water, and waited some more.
and I sent her an email (we are not close enough yet to have exchanged phone numbers).
And waited some more.
And realized I had been stood up.
So I could pick up something to eat and go home. Or simply go home and continue in the grumpiness of my situation.
I decided something else.
I decided to stay, with myself, in all of the glorious crankiness that I was enlivening in at that moment.
I ordered wine and soup and a salad and a tartar (because that place, let me tell you, has the best beef tartar ever). And I posted on my social and then said goodbye to my phone.
On a planned self date I would usually have a notebook or a book. Now I had nothing. So here I was forced to be with myself, forced to do something I tell my clients to do all the time, to take time to themselves and be with themselves without phones or distractions. To just sit and be.
And damn, it was hard.
I used to be better at doing it, would attempt to do it more often but life has gotten so busy that when I take myself out for a lunch, my computer is my companion and I work in between bites. And it is usually a daytime kind of thing.
This was the first time I had done it in a long time when the sun is down.
And believe me, I did not want to hang out with myself. I really wasn’t the best of companies.
Until I was.
I took my time with my glass of wine. I took my time with the delicious carrot coconut soup, I resisted the urge to instagram every single morsel I was having. I just sat with myself and my thoughts.
And, again, it’s incredible how much I may preach but not do what I say…
it was magical.
the more I sat there, the more I was just with my thoughts and sentiments, the more calm I became. I just let myself be. I didn’t force myself into a place of comfort or discomfortt, of conversation or of tacking the to-do list. I simply was.
I embraced the space and time to myself.
I embraced myself. I laughed. I pictured my future and different scenarios. I looked into my present. I laughed some more. I resisted the urge to text. I resisted the urge to call just anybody and get rid of the uncomfortableness of being so exposed to myself. It was fucking hard.
But after three courses, two glasses of wine and a lot of loud jokes at my table for one, I liked me.
I was happy to be there in the best company I could have shared that evening (no offense to this new friend).
And, lo and behold, of course I was a better partner and mom and coach and just about everything because of this time by myself, because of this space to myself and my selfish need of breath.
So, yes, I don’t hope to be stood up more often, but I am definitely calendaring in more self dates in the coming months. They do me and the world some good.
Happy Birthday to me!