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A letter about doing things alone

This a letter about learning to do things alone

I am an extrovert, which means that I mainly get my energy from being around others. My personality profile tells me that I am 67% extrovert and 33% introverted, so I do need some time alone, but if I am being sociable I would rather do that in connection with others (the right others – not just anyone). But since my divorce, I spend much more time alone. I also work from home a lot so I am alone more than ever before.

Just as a side note, if you would also like to see whether you are an extrovert or introvert you can do this simple test here to get your Myers Briggs profile.

This week I went to see Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty on my own. It was supposed to be a treat for my daughter and part of her birthday/Xmas present. But she wasn’t well enough to come with me and we only discovered this as I was about the leave the house.

So, with no option to sell the tickets, get a refund or find someone else to come with me, instead of wasting the money on both tickets, I decided that I would go by myself. As ever, I did my best to turn something negative into a positive. It would be an area of growth for me. I am always urging clients beyond their comfort zone, and I do like to practice what I preach.

When I had overcome the initial sadness that I wouldn’t be sharing this experience with my daughter, I decided that I would just fully embrace the experience of taking myself to the ballet. It was either sitting alone on the sofa or sitting alone in a theatre, albeit surrounded by others there for the same reason and seeing the wonderful spectacle that was the show.

When I was trying to manage my initial sadness and disappointment at being alone, as I sat waiting for the performance to start, I tried to bring myself out of my head and back into my body and the present moment. I noticed the people around me, the music playing, and the lighting. I watched people and listened. I heard a woman who had the most alarming laugh sitting in the rows above me. A woman behind me had a bad cough. I heard another woman taking her seat behind me. The woman sitting next to her asked her if she was alone. I heard her say, ‘yes, if I waited for my husband to do things with me, I would never do anything’ It reminded me that you can be married and still need to do things solo. Some of my loneliest moments were inside my marriage.

I realised that I could experience this performance entirely for myself. There was no need to wonder what the person with me was thinking of the show. My ex-husband was tall, so, at a show, he was frequently uncomfortable in his seat, I didn’t need to worry about that either. Little things, but they make those marginal differences. I only needed to think of myself and immerse myself in the music and the dance. I had wondered if should have forced my daughter to come, but then she would have been miserable and that would have dimmed my enjoyment anyway.

And it was wonderful. It had everything and was probably the best ballet performance I have been to, with darkness, drama, breathtaking passionate dancing, beautiful costumes and even a bit of humour and some puppetry was thrown in too.

So, this was my first adventure on my own and it was good. It has warmed me up for the next one, which will be a solo cinema trip and then a solo spa day.

These letters will always be hyper-personal. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can now write very credible blog posts and so I will also share very personal experiences from my life so that you know it is me and I am not auto-generating something. Also, I know I do have the odd error in grammar, which AI wouldn't have - just keeping it real folks!

I will always try to share my lessons from my life and work so that even though these letters are about me, I hope you can relate to them and they are of use to you in your life.

Artificial Intelligence is so frighteningly accurate (especially the leading ChatGPT) because it draws its data from the internet. It has so much input that it can replicate almost anything. This made me realise that what we input into our own database, the neurological pathways in our brain, is what makes up our own consciousness. So I have a new intention that I will ensure that the input that I allow into my brain must be a power for good. As such, I am going to limit what I consume, especially news related. Negative news gets a larger audience, so that is what we are fed. I will continue to curate good input where I can. So that my intelligence isn't clouded by the negative news loops out there. There is a reason why it is always best to surround yourself with positive, happy, healthy, and fit people.

Stay free my friends.

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