The last couple of days I have spent with my sister in law and her family in Northern Virginia. As you all know, I love the city, museums and culture and with DC being so close, i absolutely had to go explore. Now of course there were the voices that said "You? By yourself? In DC?" "Why would you go by yourself?". Yes of course, having a friend there might have been fun - but would I miss out on a chance to explore DC because I didnt have someone to escort me?
Is there anything more therapeutic than going on a solo adventure?
My day started by figuring out the Metro System, Starbucks in hand. The city slicker I am, I had it down pretty quickly and sitting in the train cart reminded me dearly of back home, where I used to take the "U-Bahn" every morning to get to school. I enjoyed watching people get on and off, completely in their own little world and so I turned up my music and got lost in mine.
I got off in downtown DC and wandered around the area, taking in the breathtaking architecture and making my way to the museums & took some selfies at the national mall. At the museums, I got to stare at whatever I wanted for however long I wanted, and just enjoy and take in and be inspired. No rushing, no stupid questions and I was able to go back and forth and zik zak throughout the hall as much as I pleased. There were so many different topics that interested me - from the history of advertising, to civil rights, the FBI to the pulitzer price winning photographs over the years. When I say it's hard to put me in a box, I really mean it.
And I did another thing I would have never thought I would do - I got dinner, sat down and ate by myself. Why is that so crazy? Because I never thought I could do that. I always figured eating by myself would be embarrassing, and make me look like a lonely person. Blame it on finally being a grown up or just being hungry - i got food, sat down and ate by myself at a restaurant - and no one cared. I was just another person in a big city, trying to get in some food before heading off to whatever else I had to do.
See, some people want to go out in the mountains in an empty cabin to relax and be by themselves - I love being by myself in a crowd of people. Give me the city, a museum or a play and let me fully enjoy it, inhale it. Let me fully concentrate on the material in front of me. Let me soak in the city. Let me get lost and find my way back. Let me be in my own little bubble while being surrounded by thousands of strangers passing by all wrapped up in their own little bubble. Let me be a stranger to everyone around me, in a city so wrapped up in itself that I am just a lonely bystander, easily ignored and drowning in a sea of go getters. Let me be inspired by the fashion, by the attitudes, by all the stories and dreams that cross me. Let me watch that lady in her business outfit get lost in thought over a cup of coffee before a call drags her back to reality, let me imagine what she dreams about. Is she planning a wedding? Did she just leave her boyfriend? Did she just start a new job or is she trying to built her own company? Is she reminiscing about Shakespeare or the newest urban decay lipstick shade?
The city is a huge playground with endless possibilities. Look up a museum, an art show, a play - go and loose yourself in new knowledge. Grab a coffee & wander the streets, see the murals, the musicians trying to make a buck, the architecture. Try to fathom the history. Go out and spent quality time with yourself. Get lost in thought, create inside jokes with yourself, and learn. Enjoy the silence or get lost in your favorite song.
Be unapologetically you and cherish the time you have with yourself. Get to know yourself. Become your own best Friend. A journey to self love is not just loving your body - it's appreciating yourself for all that you are and all that you strive to be.