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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Table for One


As I sat alone at breakfast one morning, I thought of how I would love to be on the trip with someone.
I glanced around at the tables surrounding me, each one made up of families, couples, or friends. 
Each restaurant asks the same thing, "just one?", holding up their pointer finger, a sort of sadness in their eyes as they link me to the word, "alone." Seating me at the bar, or a small table by the window. One waiter was brave enough to ask me, "why you come alone?" At that moment I wanted to say, "I have no clue." But instead I replied, "I wanted to see things for myself. I didn't want anyone to dilute my experiences, I didn't want someone to decide what I should do, or tell me what I must see. I have no responsibility but for myself." He clearly had no idea what I just said, staring at me blankly. I said, "Thank you for listening." And bowed my head as he had done. He then said "You in good company." Maybe he meant the restaurant, but maybe he meant I was the best company I could have. Suddenly, I didn't feel lonely, I felt like I was my friend. 
Maybe it would be easier to be with someone on this trip. Someone who could read a map, someone who could speak a little bit of Indonesian, someone who could simply remind me of home. 
But then I realized, I can be all those things to myself.
I am someone who is learning to read a map, someone who is learning to speak a little Indonesian, and I am a tiny piece of my home. 
This trip has taught me that we should become what we want to be, instead of expecting others to become what we want to be. Way too often in my life I have not tried something or not learned something because I had someone there who could do it. Whether it be changing my oil, or pressing my clothes, or making my favorite meal. Or just making me happy. How many times have you let yourself be sad because you counted on someone to make you happy and they let you down? But that's not the way it works. We can simply love everyone if we realize our happiness and well-being depends on us. We stop expecting so much of other, and expect more of ourselves. I have learned in these short three days, that I am capable of absolutely anything. Learning a language, finding my way around a foreign city, saying what I want and don't want. I have learned I am so much stronger than I believed I am. 
This trip has taught me the importance of understand and loving myself. Figuring out my dreams, my fears. What I like to do with 24 hours and no set plans. Figuring out what I love about myself, and what I would like to work on. Reminding myself I am my friend, it sounds so cheesy but it's true. If you hate being alone, what does that say about how you view yourself? 
As I sit outside writing this, I realize I am the essential part to my story. I am the voice of my thoughts. I wouldn't want to be on this trip with anyone else. My sweet waiter was right, I am in good company. 

4 comments:

  1. Do you get tired of me telling you your writing is perfection? So eloquent, so honest, so open. Love it. You're in GREAT company!

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  2. I agree with Anne, just wow. I could never do that, but I sure love reading about you doing it. Looking forward to more posts. :)

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  3. This is so inspiring! I wish I had the courage to do it. I LOVE being alone, but traveling alone... I don't know if I can do it. I think I should try it since I love doing things by myself.

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  4. Katie. I simply adore your heart. I am in full agreement with Anne :) And you have plenty of company here!!!!

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