Leah’s Life Lessons: Another New Year’s Resolution

This semester I decided to try something different. After spending my break binge-watching Sex and The City, I decided to test one of the show’s ideas. I chose to spend a day completely by myself, doing what I loved without a soul around me. So I closed Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook and turned my phone on silent.

This is what I discovered. 8 a.m.: When I woke up, it felt incredibly odd not to reach for my phone to go through Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Instead I grabbed a book and a cup of tea. It felt weird to not have my phone in my hand, and I’ll admit I kept glancing at it hoping to find an excuse to check through everything.

10 a.m.: As I arrived at the Columbiana, I was nervous to say the least. I didn’t know if people would stare at me and wonder why I was not with anyone. Would they notice that my makeup wasn’t exactly right, or that I had skipped a few days at the gym? All of my insecurities that I buried beneath friends, Facebook and constant communication bubbled up. I kept nervously grabbing at my phone, but each time I returned it to my purse. Without my phone or a friend, I felt vulnerable and alone. I started to realize that by spending a day in my own company, I was going to have to confront my inner voice, the voice that says that I wasn’t fit enough, smart enough and pretty enough (because the people that I always surrounded myself with were gone.) The only person that could drown out the nagging voice was myself.

11 a.m.: As I began to shop I started to feel some of my vulnerabilities brush off as I surrounded myself with the things I loved. I felt confident because I was doing something I loved, but it also felt odd. I was used to having someone around to bounce energy off of, so I decided to create my own entertainment. Instead of buying anything, I tried on ridiculous clothes that I would never show anyone else. I played around with different styles and didn’t worry about how the clothes were going to look because I was just having fun. This mentality helped me to quiet the voice in my head that I wasn’t slim enough. I was just there to have fun and try different things. As the day progressed, I began to forget that I was even by myself.

1 p.m.: By now, I really started to feel comfortable, so I decided to take it a step further and take myself out to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. When the waitress asked how many people were in my party, I could feel the same sense of anxiety rushing back. I felt like everyone in the room was wondering why I was alone. As I sat down, I was hit with the question, “What am I going to do?” I had at least half an hour to sit and do nothing but enjoy the wonderful food in front of me and think, instead of checking Facebook or chatting with a girlfriend. So I started to think about past memories and of how the day had turned out. I laughed to myself about silly memories with my family. I reminisced about past relationships and took a deeper look at parts of my life that I had not dealt with. Looking back through my memories lead me to realize how much I liked the decisions I had made. I left the restaurant feeling more at peace with myself. p.m.: As I drove home, I began to wonder why I had not done this before and why it was so difficult in the beginning. Why do we feel so alone when we are forced to spend time in our own company? I think it is because we’re taught self-loathe from a young age, and if we surround ourselves constantly with people, we will hush the voices that say we aren’t enough. But what I found during my “me day” was that I really liked myself. I liked my ironic sense of humor and my confidence, and with that knowledge I became a happier person. So what might happen if we all took a “me day” every once and a while? Would we all become more confident and happier? I can only speak for myself, but there’s definitely something to it. Whether you take a day to decrease stress, to practice self-love or to just check-out for a day, I can promise that it’s worth it.