Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ain't Nothing Gonna Break My Stride

A long time ago, I decided that my relationship status was never going to impact my quality of life.

Whether I was in a relationship, married, with a standing companion or minus +1, I was committed to ensuring my life would be as fabulous as it could be.

It sounds easy, doesn't it? It sounds as simple as accepting invitations and seeking out cultural/social opportunities that are enriching, interesting and fun.

But when you're solo, it can actually be freaking scary.

I've never let my single status hinder my ability to take advantage of something spectacular. Galas, openings and new restaurants? If I don't have a date to take, I've always been comfortable with going with a gal pal or three. Occasionally, if I know I'll run into a slew of friendly faces, I'll walk into an event solo, but it's not often.

It takes guts to go alone, sometimes. At least, that was the case this past Sunday.

I had tickets to see the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's only performance of Handel's Messiah (side note: I scored the tickets because I am an ArtsWave donor. Please consider how you can contribute to this essential cultural organization) and was excited to bring a dear friend with me.

My friend sent me a text the morning of the event mentioning a conflict. Normally I am pretty disappointed when someone backs out with short notice, but it's becoming a frequent occurrence as of late. I've realized my only options in that moment are a) bitching and complaining or b) quickly seeking out another guest.

Resigned to a morning of calmness, I decided to forgo spinning my wheels to seek out another symphony date. I sent out a few fruitless texts and was faced with the daunting proposition:

Go to the symphony alone.

Wow. In my world, that's pretty big stuff.

I decided to put on my Big Girl Panties (hint: they're a g-string), get all dressed up in silk and sparkles and head out to Cincinnati's storied Music Hall. Solo.

I walked into that grand, brick building, tickets in tow, and headed to my seats. They were just glorious. Twelve rows from the stage apron, directly in the center of the hall. Music Hall's crowning jewel, a two-ton chandelier, slightly swayed above.

A bit conscious of my singleness, I stowed my coat and bag on the extra seat and sunk in to the crimson velvet upholstery. About a half hour into the performance, I was content and proud of myself for braving such an occasion alone.

And that's the way it was. I was hell bent on seeing the Hallelujah Chorus, date or not. I knew I would have regretted it immensely if I cheated myself out of that experience.

I've got a long list of things to see/do/experience. And I'm getting comfortable with ticking them off solo.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Monika R. "RedKat" said...

I admire your moxy, Katy! I'm not a fan of going solo to events either, and I love how you handled this situation with aplomb. PS - happy to be a +1. :)

Rhonda said...

What a great attitude you have to going out solo. I've been in similar situations and gone anyway. It's not my preference, but depending on the event, it's sometimes too good a thing to miss.

caltraveler said...

Until the last few years I was a solo gal. I certainly never let my singleness hinder me from doing things I wanted to do. I've been on many solo vacations (England, California, and more.) Sometimes I went to concerts with friends, but if I wanted to go I never let the lack of a companion stop me. I also would go to other parties and events by myself if I really wanted to go. Just because you're a one and not a plus one shouldn't stop you. Of course, as an only child I grew up being by myself a lot...so I got used to it. Now that I'm a plus one, I sometimes miss the freedom I had to go places and do things. Now, I have to consider what the BF wants to do and compromise on what we actually do. Relish your freedom and enjoy your opportunities. Do what you want by yourself or with someone else, because those chances may not come up again.

derek Bauman said...

I find that in other, less conservative, parts of the country people, in particular females, are much more likely to go out by themselves and also much more open to talk to people outside their social circle (strangers). I don't think it's a stretch to believe that these folks are also more likely to find a date or at least a friend, than those sitting home alone on their couch lamenting their loneliness.