Having spent a short duration in Sicily—two and a half months to be exact—I was more than excited to have one last night out in Catania as a transition flight before making my way off into the unfamiliar territory of India. A day of shopping in Italy had left me feeling like a rock star and I was more than eager to dawn my new well-deserved pair of Italian Prada shoes—don’t ask how much it set me back, I had earned a treat for myself!—and outfit for a much needed night out.
That’s right…I was taking myself on a date.
Whether you’re for it or against it all I can say in the matter is at least when I take myself on a date I can be as selfish as I want, go home when I feel like it and no one is around to ruin my night or push things faster than I want to go! Now don’t get me wrong, despite the fact that I’ve always been sort of a heart-breaker, which is probably the reason my friends in school compared me to Baskin Robbins for having a new flavor every month, love of my career and horses always outranked my priority list when it came to the topic of men.
I didn’t have time for men. After spending my days riding 6-8 horses, jumping, falling, ending up in hospitals, mending broken bones or getting stitches removed, constantly dealing with fatigue, stress, and pushing my body and mind beyond its physical and mental capabilities…let’s just say at the end of the day I didn’t have the energy to sit around and stare at my cell phone and wonder “why didn’t he call me?!”
Now I wasn’t always brave enough to take myself out on dates, mind you. In fact, back when I was enjoying being 18 and owning my very first truck and living in my very first apartment, I was terrified to go to a restaurant or see a movie alone in the theaters. I thought people would judge me, stare at me, make fun of me and the fear of being criticized or laughed at had been too much for my teenage emotions to handle.
But all that had changed now. Now I was 22 years older, wiser and more confident. I didn’t need a man gawking at me in order to feel I was beautiful. I simply had to put on my new Prada shoes and pink sparkly top with some pink lip gloss and mascara to match and hit the road!
Italy was my romance movie. The moon was my love, the soft glowing street lamps my camera, the delicate cobblestone sidewalks my runway. Tall, dark Italian men approached me, some even slowing their vehicles down to attempt to catch my attention, but I wouldn’t have any of it. I was already on a date, after all and didn’t want any disturbances or interruptions.
I walked for over an hour before settling on a quaint little restaurant tucked away by the harbor overlooking the glistening sea. I had been guided to the place by a local Italian—again another man trying to interfere with my date—but I waved him goodbye upon finding the adorable place to eat and sat at the table alone. I glanced at the menu—I already knew what I wanted—and ordered my favorite food in the entire world: Pizza. (And let me just say there is NOTHING better than an Italian pizza from Italy!)
I savored every delectable bite, imprinting the tastes into my palate memory. My senses were in complete paradise as I enjoyed the aromas of the food, the sights of the ocean at night, the sound of the rippling water and the kiss of the warm breeze against my cheeks. After a peaceful calm had resided over me, I finally embarked on the long walk back to my hotel room. I was completely happy with my date, thinking I could easily spend a lifetime travelling the world solo.
Here are 10 things dating yourself teaches you:
1) You will spoil yourself and indulge in things you LOVE
2) You will learn your likes and dislikes without the pressure of someone else warping your opinion
3) You will get really good at taking selfies that don't look like selfies (Thank you self-timers!)
4) You will dress up to make YOURSELF feel beautiful, and not necessarily rely what others (especially men) think
5) Being happy and peaceful and in a state of bliss is easy to do when you love your own company!
6) The more you love and respect yourself, the more you will start to notice the people surrounding you showing you equal amounts of love and respect!
7) You will never leave home without a book to read
8) You learn to make friends easily and start deep and meaningful conversations with total strangers
9) You will become very confident
10) You will get really good at saying No - to men or other things you are not interested in doing or trying. You will stand up for yourself more!