Tuesday 8 January 2013

A1: S8 - Why Miss Out?

What made me laugh, was the one thing Mother was so shocked about when I told her the whole tale, was that I'd just gone to this festival on my own.

Ever since I was little, I've found just as much joy at doing things alone as I find doing things with other people. I used to (and still do) love going shopping on my own, going to the cinema, going for long walks through the forest and even going out to eat alone. Mother constantly despaired saying, "But Katie, you can't do that on your own!" to which I'd always reply "But...why not?" - something which she could never quite find a response to. I guess she was worried I was a social reject or something. I remember once my local cinema showed all the Harry Potter films in a row on 8 consecutive evenings, to which I joyfully went along to, and Mother actually sat me down and asked me to tell the truth as to where I'd been going every night, as she refused to believe that was what I'd been up to.

I guess it just seemed completely logical to me. I had actually asked my best friend if she wanted to come to the Harry Potter marathon but she couldn't make it... was I just supposed to not go because she couldn't, and miss out on something that I really wanted to do? That was when I came up with another little mantra to live by that I could whack out when anyone said I was weird for doing stuff on my own. I guess it sounds a little morbid now I think about it, but I don't see it that way. I find it quite the reassurance, knowing you can always depend on yourself:

 "I was born alone and I'll die alone, so why miss out on everything in between just because somebody won't come with me?"

I believe most of my random good luck comes from doing things on my own. When you're alone, you're so much more perceptive of the world around you. If you go out for coffee with someone, for example, you probably notice about 25% of what is going on around you, and the rest of your attention is focused on them, and the conversation you are having. If you were sat in that coffee shop alone, unless you are reading, writing or playing on your phone or something, pretty much 100% of your attention is focused on your surroundings - you watch the most fascinating people, you overhear the most intriguing conversations, you notice the tiny little things like that one random ceiling tile which is just a teeny bit out of line with the rest of them, and you wonder why. *

If I'd gone with someone to the Saturday of the festival, there's no way in hell I would've spoken to the boy on the wall, and subsequently no way in hell I would have ever got the chance to see Einaudi play. I wouldn't have had the desire to talk to strangers if I had a companion, in fact, it probably would've seemed rude if I had. I guess that's the beauty of doing thngs alone - you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want.

A lot of people say to me, "How the hell do these things always happen to you?" and for the most part, I haven't quite figured that one out yet. However, I am firm in the belief that you make your own luck, and create your own oppurtunities. And the first way of doing that, I'd say, is to start adventuring alone. Because I promise you, when you are alone, even the smallest of things become extraordinary.


* = I actually wrote about this once, click here to have a gander: