What I Learned From A Weekend Alone
If you took a look at my calendar on any given day you might understand a bit better why a weekend alone was exactly what I needed. While it may not look crazy busy hell, your calendar may be way busier, but, for me, this is a lot right now. Since you can’t see my calendar, let me tell you a little bit about what my schedule looks like outside of work.
Monday| sometimes my evening is free but sometimes I’ve been asked to fill in for another instructor for a spinning class. So Monday’s are usually up in the air depending on the week.
Tuesday| this is one of my regular days to teach my spin class.
Wednesday| I’m on a shuffleboard league and our games are usually on Wednesday. It’s just for fun so it’s nothing too serious unless the other team is totally out strategizing us then…game on!
Thursday| Sometimes I have a therapy appointment, sometimes I’m free.
Friday| Usually something social. Or I’m headed to bed a little early because I teach on Saturday mornings.
Saturday| I teach spin in the mornings. Then lately the rest of the day has been filled with some type of obligation. Either an event for a friend or a craft show for my Dad.
Sunday| I head off to church and have been either at my parents’ house for Sunday dinner or again, at some type of event or obligation.
Maybe after reading this, you’re thinking ‘uh, this isn’t that bad Laura, what’s the problem?’ but as I’m sure you’re well aware…different strokes for different folks. Especially with the type of things that have popped up in my life lately. I’ve talked very openly about my recent breakup and also moving into my own apartment for the first time all the while, starting a new job recently too.
That’s a lot of change for anyone, especially all at once. All of those things happened within 2 months. In that short amount of time, my life was vastly different and I was somehow supposed to keep up with everything and not miss a beat.
Well, many beats were missed, let me tell you. I don’t know about you but I am not equipped with healing a broken heart (by my own doing might I add – different blog for a different day), being the new girl at work and learning to live solely on your own for the first time (I’ve had roommates and whatnot before but, living solo is a horse of a different color – do people still say that?) all at the same time. It takes a very special person to get through something like this without tripping & falling a few (read: a lot) times.
It was like my world was literally turned upside down and I didn’t know which way to go. Some of my comfort blankets that I once had to soothe me in times like this weren’t readily available. It was time for me to truly learn to walk with my own two feet. Now, don’t get me wrong. My sisters, my best friend & a few other close friends were in my corner the entire way. At the drop of a text or call, they were there to calm me down. I am so grateful for them. I repeat I am SO grateful for them. But ultimately, I had to navigate this new path and figure out how I was not only get through these days but, at some point, learn to enjoy my life again.
Because truth be told, I wasn’t loving my life. I was depressed, anxious and very uncertain of myself during these times. I’d never been here before – single, living alone, new job – simultaneously. Not only was I trying to heal my heart but I was also having to fend for myself in terms of having the energy or inspiration to cook, clean, etc. but I was also trying to be happy & upbeat at my new job. But I wasn’t happy and upbeat at all. There were many days where it took the utmost effort to not break down and cry at my desk
Looking back, I think I filled up my schedule to the brim to avoid feeling the feels. To avoid the scary feelings that came up. To avoid the loneliness that crept up constantly. To avoid anything that wasn’t laughter & happiness. Except, I wasn’t laughing or happy much these days. But if I kept myself busy then I didn’t really have to think about what I was feeling, right? Well, that’s at least what I thought. And, sometimes this worked. Other times not so much.
So, when Scare Your Soul came around to invite me to be an ambassador I was clueless about what my challenge was going to be for that upcoming weekend in October. After some thought, I decided on spending a weekend completely alone and to have FUN too. I had no idea what this weekend was going to entail or what I even liked to do by myself for an entire weekend. I have days here & there that I’ve spent alone, obviously. But, not a whole weekend. I mean, I was the teenager who never wanted to be left home alone. Weird, right?
Nevertheless, the weekend approached and I cleared my calendar, announced it on social media and to my friends and set out to spend a weekend alone. Now, if you follow me on Instagram you may already know what that weekend entailed. But, for those of you who may not follow me (although, you should!) let me give a quick rundown of what I did.
After work, I did a slow and leisure walk through Target. I had to buy some stuff for the house but I didn’t want to rush it. I wanted to enjoy walking up & down the aisles of Target just enjoying that I didn’t have somewhere to be or wasn’t on anyone else’s schedule. After Target, I grabbed some food from the burger bar at Whole Foods (SO GOOD, you must try if you have one nearby), headed home & caught up on This Is Us. A mellow start to the weekend.
I taught my spin class in the morning and then headed straight to Trader Joe’s. I love grocery shopping – LOVE IT, so I was giddy about doing this task leisurely as well. I, again, took my time going through the aisles, talking to the workers there and trying to find some of my staples but also their new products too. I could spend all day at Trader Joe’s, truly. I came home, put all my groceries neatly away (type A here!), showered and got right into comfy clothes. This made me so excited! That I literally had nowhere to be! So I asked some of my Instagram friends what I should start watching on TV. Let the Broad City binge begin! In between episodes & snacks, I also stepped away from the TV and read a little bit of my Codependency No More book (a post on this later) and thoroughly cleaned my apartment.
Usually, every Sunday me & my best friend go to church together. So, this was the only event that I knew I was going to spend with someone else. But oddly enough, she overslept and was going to go to the later service – coincidence? I think not. And for a second I wondered, should I even go if she’s not going. Ha! The Universe testing me. But of course, I got dressed & went to church and enjoyed myself just as much even without her there. I then came home, meal prepped for the week and continued flip-flopping between reading and TV time. I finished the evening off with my Sunday ritual of pulling mantra cards to set my intentions for the week and then slipped into bed.
While it sounds simple, it truly was a beautiful and calming weekend. It was exactly what I wanted and needed. And what I learned most is that I am a really good time, I have a great sense of humor and I still do have a passion for cooking. I also learned that I do not enjoy drinking alcohol as much as I thought I did. And lastly I learned that Broad City is the way to brighten up any sad/gloomy/depressing person. I’ve truly never laughed so hard & so often until I watched that show. It’s quickly risen to be on my list of favorite shows.
Most of all though, I learned that I am okay. And that it’s okay to feel feelings whether it’s a gut burning laugh or a heart wrenching cry. Both are okay and necessary to feel fully. That’s how you know you’re still human. That’s how you know that you’re healing and moving forward.
Now that I’ve experienced a solo weekend, I’ve made a pact to myself on clearing out at least one weekend day (or a full weekend if possible) and dedicate it completely for myself. That’s my November intention and I’m so looking forward to cultivating that. I think it’s so important that we build and grow our relationships with ourselves just as often as we do with other people. When you get right with you, everything else falls into place. Not the other way around.